Biological Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Short Communication

Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 105-108

Reduced serotonergic functioning changes heart rate in ADHD

  • Florian Daniel ZepfAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main Email author 
  • , M. HoltmannAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main
  • , C. StadlerAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main
  • , L. WöckelAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main
  • , F. PoustkaAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main

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Abstract

Reduced mean heart rate (HR) was shown to be a biophysiological marker for aggression, which in turn was proven to be related to changed serotonergic neurotransmission. A total of 16 ADHD-diagnosed boys were subjected to rapid tryptophan depletion (RTD) and a placebo in a double-blind within-subject crossover-design. Mean HR was assessed under RTD/placebo. Low impulsive patients behaving aggressively under RTD showed a lowered HR under RTD versus placebo. Diminished 5-HT functioning was associated with lowered HR and aggressive behaviour.

Keywords

ADHD Heart rate Serotonin Physiological arousal Aggression Impulsivity