ADHD Treatments Evolve Dramatically
Remember how that old Maine farmer told the lost city guy who stopped to ask for directions: “Come to think of it, you can't get there from here…” Well, truth be known, the evolving neuroscience is taking us in new intervention directions.
ADHD medications, my friends, are evolving dramatically. Intuniv, the new ADHD medication, [not a stimulant, but rather an alpha 2A agonist] by Shire will be in your pharmacies soon, and the pharmacology, the indications, the new science is simply dramatic.
If you are a professional on any level, and can attend one of the launch dinners in your town, I strongly recommend that you take an evening to see evolved neurophysiology at work. That α2A receptor, that quite different medication, will help change the way we think about medications for ADHD in the future. More about that later, stay tuned to CorePsych Blog for the details, – and watch my YouTube Channel at DrChalresParker for a pithy report on our office findings with Intuniv – likely next weekend.
Neurotransmitter Measurements For ADHD
Neurotransmitter physiology takes us way beyond what we have been doing for years with only stimulant medications. Neurotransmitters will take us further down the line to that holy grail of ADHD treatments: The Natural Way. Do make sure you sign up for updates, because this evolving neurotransmitter information will be the main theme in coming reports – and for today one brief story that I am sure will get your attention:
More than ADHD
52 yo male flies in from California for SPECT functional brain scans and complete brain review after years of failed treatment for ADHD and depression. These basic findings will make your hair curl:
He suffered with profound ADHD – he couldn't think, couldn't complete sentences, drifted off with his wife – he looked like a flaming Thinking ADHD subset. His legs were twitching, not only at night, but through the day. He suffered from cognitive impairment/dementia and worried that he had early Alzheimer's. He had significant metabolic issues with transit time slowing for years.
We got the interactions straight, confirmed with SPECT that he suffered from significant metabolic challenges with diffuse hypoperfusion across the surface of his brain.
The Neurotransmitter Watershed
Most important after these obvious issues, with no brain injury and no evidence of Alzheimer's, were the neurotransmitter testing results [spend some time on this page and download the details]. His cognitive world was completely handicapped by low levels of Dopamine and Serotonin, with, as you might expect, elevated levels of Glutamate [more later, stay tuned].
Even with all the dopaminergic drugs his dopamine was below normal levels. The simple reason he didn't suffer from serotonin syndrome: he had so little his serotonin tank was almost completely empty! Yes, for years he has been a picky eater.
Neurotransmitter Lesson: Without the foundation of an appropriate supply of neurotransmitters in the first place no amount of psychiatric medications will turn the treatment tide. You can't get there from here.
You will hear this next measurement phrase repeatedly here:
If you don't look, you won't see the specific problem – comprehensive evidence is that new direction.
With this executive he suffered from pervasive cognitive problems, the SPECT imaging provided a good safety check, and the neurotransmitter testing provided the most effective different medical intervention strategy. My humble opinion: neurotransmitter testing will provide significant different intervention strategies for many with complex presentations.
He is thrilled with his new cognition, is on target in his marriage and at work, and does not suffer crippling brain toxicity. He is on neurotransmitter precursors [natural amino acid combinations] specifically designed to meet his deficiencies. Prozac is long gone, he is on Pristiq and Vyvanse, only low doses of each, and time will tell if he even needs those medications down the road.
Stay tuned for more reports like this one, with more details on the specific process. Best to simply sign up for these blog posts as I will be sending out regular info on these new directions. Neuroscience evolves.
And do forward this post to your friends who are stuck with ADHD Medication challenges. – And BTW, yes, we can provide this testing long distance, as we don't require a trip to Virginia, unless we write for medications.