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Biological Basis for Motivation Issues in ADHD?

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans were used to measure dopamine synaptic markers in adults with unmedicated ADHD and adults without ADHD. The study found that

A reduction in dopamine synaptic markers associated with symptoms of inattention was shown in the dopamine reward pathway of participants with ADHD.

(Volkow, et al., 2009).

This means that for people with ADHD, there may be a biological deficit in the way the brain gets motivated.


Volkow, N., et al. (2009). Evaluating Dopamine Reward Pathway in ADHD. JAMA, 302(10):1084-1091.

The abstract for the study can be found here: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/302/10/1084

By |2016-10-05T06:46:11+00:00February 10th, 2010|Categories: ADHD, Research|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Biological Basis for Motivation Issues in ADHD?

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and AMHCA Diplomate and Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling based in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she specializes in the treatment of ADD/ADHD. Dr. Sarkis conducts evaluations, testing, diagnosis, and counseling services. She also is a public speaker, consultant, coach, and is a facilitator in collaborative law.