Effects of chronic nicotine and methylphenidate in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


Acute nicotine treatment has been found to reduce symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults (E. D. Levin, C. K. Conners, et al., 1996). In this study, chronic nicotine effects were compared with placebo and methylphenidate. Acute and chronic nicotine treatment significantly attenuated the rise in hit reaction time standard error over session blocks on the Conners Continuous Performance Test (C. K. Conners et al., 1996). Acute nicotine significantly reduced severity of clinical symptoms on the Clinical Global Impressions scale (National Institute of Mental Health, 1985). Nicotine caused a significant decrease in self-report of depressive mood as measured by the Profile of Mood States test (D. M. McNair, M. Lorr, & L. F. Droppleman, 1981). This small study (40 participants) provided evidence that nicotine treatment can reduce severity of attentional deficit symptoms and produce improvement on an objective computerized attention task.

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