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How Age Influences Stimulant Response

neurotrophicThe paradoxical effect of psychostimulants — medications that relieve symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder in young children and adolescents — yet cause euphoria and often abuse among adults, may finally have a biochemical explanation.

Temple University scientists have identified a potential molecular mechanism, the neurotrophin system comprised of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB, as the cause of age differences in stimulant response.

Their findings appear in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

“Our findings suggest that the rapidly developing young brain is able to adapt and protect itself against the rewarding effects of stimulants due to the input of the TrkB system,” said Ellen Unterwald, PhD, lead investigator and professor of pharmacology at Temple University’s School of Medicine and Center for Substance Abuse Research.

Most preclinical studies have found that susceptibility to the addictive properties of stimulants is age-dependent.

This is the first study to link the TrkB neurotrophin system to those age-specific responses. The hope is that BDNF/TrkB might someday be used as a target for the development of new treatments for childhood neuropsychiatric disorders or addiction.

Source: Temple University

How Age Influences Stimulant Response

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). How Age Influences Stimulant Response. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/01/30/how-age-influences-stimulant-response/1855.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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