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ADHD Insights: Reward Deficiency Syndrome

ADHD Genetics Evolve Rapidly

ADHD And Reward Deficiency Syndrome – A D2 Receptor Phenomenon

Reward Deficiency Syndrome  RDS: another ADHD acronym bubbling up as we move closer to standard genetic testing. The more biology that we understand about ADHD, the more predictable treatment becomes. The relevance for Dr Blum, [an important researcher in dopamine genetics] and RDS is the D2 dopamine receptor gene which often shows specific, measurable polymorphisms.

Genetic testing is quickly evolving, and after considerable shopping we use Genomind Testing at CorePsych to better understand specific interventions for those multiple polymorphism assays – from CYP 450 to receptors, transporters and enzyme systems [e.g. COMT]. [Notice that the internationally acclaimed psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl is on Genomind’s advisory board.]

Here’s a quick downloadable pdf read from Dr Blum on D2 and RDS – only about 4 pages with 66 references written in 1996. Sounds like old news from ’96, but the neuroscience on this one is fully on the table for contemporary genetic measurement and direct consideration.

Thanks Ken Blum – more coming on D2, so stay tuned and please forward


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  1. Is there a treatment approach for Reward Deficiency Syndrome. I have had the genetic test which highlighted I have the ‘lucky genes’. I always feel quite bored and am constantly stimulation seeking.

    My understanding is that Psychostimulants often stop working for those with RDS?

    • Johnny,
      My experience with RDS: meds do work well unless the larger biomedical reality contributes any one or all of multiple metabolic challenges. D2 is only one polymorphism. 2D6 is another, allergens and candida are others, and trace element imbalances with adrenal, thyroid, or other hormonal imbalances can undo the most precise pharmaceutical interventions over time. Been there, done that.

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