Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 105–108 | Cite as

Reduced serotonergic functioning changes heart rate in ADHD

  • Florian Daniel Zepf
  • M. Holtmann
  • C. Stadler
  • L. Wöckel
  • F. Poustka
Biological Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Short Communication


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.


ADHD Heart rate Serotonin Physiological arousal Aggression Impulsivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian Daniel Zepf
    • 1
  • M. Holtmann
    • 1
  • C. Stadler
    • 1
  • L. Wöckel
    • 1
  • F. Poustka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and PsychotherapyGoethe University of Frankfurt am MainFrankfurtGermany

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