Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Bernard Toney Jr, DMSc, PA-C



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to distinguish the symptoms of ADHD from the adverse effects of stimulant treatment, such as Adderall, and study the potential adverse effects of long-term stimulant use on the brain.

Method: A Google Scholar literature search was conducted with search terms long-term stimulant use, brain function, ADHD, and stimulant mechanism of action. Fifteen pertinent articles were chosen and were utilized as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: Evidence-based research that explains the adverse effects of long-term stimulant use on the brain. Effects include depletion in dopamine levels, reduction in gray matter, neuron receptor damage, and emotional and behavioral changes.

Conclusion: Stimulant drugs have therapeutic uses that if used long-term can have an effect on the brain. While it is clear that stimulants can cause symptomatic relief in individuals with ADHD or narcolepsy, chronic use of these medications can have negative effects on the function and structure of the brain, causing behavioral changes.

Keywords: Stimulant, Long-term, ADHD, Adderall.


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