Change in electrodermal activity after acute tryptophan depletion associated with aggression in young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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We investigated the impact of acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) and reduced brain serotonin synthesis on physiological arousal in 15 young people with ADHD participating in an aggression-inducing game. ATD was not associated with altered physiological arousal, as indexed by electrodermal activity (EDA). Baseline aggression was negatively correlated with the mean ATD effect on EDA. In accordance with the low arousal theory related to aggressive behavior, subjects with reduced physiological responsiveness/lower electrodermal reactivity to ATD tended to display elevated externalizing behavior.
KeywordsSerotonin ADHD Electrodermal activity Physiological arousal Aggression
Conflict of interest
This study received funding from the excellence initiative of the German federal and state governments. In the past 5 years, F.D.Z. was the recipient of an unrestricted award donated by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE), and AstraZeneca (Young Minds in Psychiatry Award). He has also received research support from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the German Society for Social Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the Paul and Ursula Klein Foundation, the Dr. August Scheidel Foundation, the IZKF of RWTH Aachen University and a travel stipend donated by the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. He is the recipient of an unrestricted educational grant, travel support and speaker honoraria from Shire Pharmaceuticals, Germany. He also receives editorial fees from Co-Action Publishing, Sweden. In addition, he has received support from the Raine Foundation for Medical Research (Raine Visiting Professorship). The outlined support and co-operations do not stand in conflict with this particular publication. The other authors have nothing to disclose.
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