This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.


Role of Executive Function in ADHD

James M. Swanson, PhD

Published: October 1, 2003

Article Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD is commonly treated with behavioral therapy and noradrenergic and dopaminergic pharmacotherapy with psychostimulants such as methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine. Stimulants primarily have dopaminergic and noradrenergic mechanisms of action, with blockade at the dopamine transporter reducing reuptake, resulting in an increase in the seneurotransmitters at the synapse. Theoretically, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in ADHD may be due to underlying executive functioning, alerting, and orienting deficits, and the nonstimulant modafinil could be beneficial in managing symptoms of ADHD by improving these components of attention that accompany wakefulness. Although modafinil exhibits a small degree of dopaminergic action by blocking the dopamine transporter, the major effect of modafinil may be attributable to neuronal activity in the hypothalamus, particularly pertaining to the recently discovered peptides hypocretin 1 and 2 (also known as orexin A and B). However, further placebo-controlled and flexibledosestudies are needed to determine the efficacy of modafinil in treating the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults.

Some JCP and PCC articles are available in PDF format only. Please click the PDF link at the top of this page to access the full text.

Volume: 5

Quick Links: ADHD , Neurodevelopmental


Sign-up to stay
up-to-date today!


Already registered? Sign In

Case Report

Safety and Tolerability of Concomitant Intranasal Esketamine Treatment With Irreversible, Nonselective MAOIs: A Case Series

Three cases suggest that concomitant use of intranasal esketamine with an irreversible, nonselective MAOI is safe in...