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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2008 Jan;23(1):43-51.

Serotonergic functioning and trait-impulsivity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disordered boys (ADHD): influence of rapid tryptophan depletion.

Author information

1
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt a.M., Germany. F.Zepf@med.uni-frankfurt.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The present study investigated the effects of rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD) and the ensuing reduction of central nervous levels of serotonin (5-HT) on reactive aggression with respect to personality factors comprising aspects of trait-impulsivity and -aggression in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD).

METHODS:

Twenty-two male adolescent patients with ADHD received the RTD test on one day, and, on another day a tryptophan balanced placebo in a double-blind within-subject crossover design. Impulsive personality factors and trait-impulsivity were assessed in advance of the study. Aggression was provoked using a competitive reaction time game 270 min after RTD/placebo intake.

RESULTS:

RTD had a significant effect on increased aggressive behaviour with which low-grade impulsive patients responded. High-grade impulsive patients were not affected by RTD or even responded with increased aggressive behaviour while receiving placebo treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present study supports the hypothesis that 5-HT functioning in ADHD patients influences reactive aggression depending on aspects of trait-impulsivity. Future studies are necessary in order to detect the specific influence of ADHD as regards the relevance to 5-HT-induced changed aggressive responding.

PMID:
17926336
DOI:
10.1002/hup.896
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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