Increased striatal dopamine transporter in adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: effects of methylphenidate as measured by single photon emission computed tomography

Neurosci Lett. 2000 May 12;285(2):107-10. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(00)01040-5.


Ten previously untreated adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were investigated before and after 4 weeks of treatment with a dose of 3x5 mg methylphenidate/d by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [Tc-99m]TRODAT-1, the first Tc-99m labelled SPECT ligand specifically binding to the dopamine transporter (DAT). For semiquantitative evaluation of the DAT, specific binding ([STR-BKG]/BKG) was calculated in the striatum (STR) with the cerebellum used as background (BKG). The patients with ADHD presented with increased specific binding of Tc-99m-TRODAT-1 to the DAT as compared with age and sex matched controls ([STR-BKG]/BKG 1.43+/-0.18 vs. 1.22+/-0.05, P<0.001). After treatment with methylphenidate specific binding decreased in all patients ([STR-BKG]/BKG 1.02+/-0.23, P<0.001). Thus, for the first time it could be demonstrated using SPECT that methylphenidate lowers increased striatal DAT availability in adults suffering from ADHD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnostic imaging
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / chemistry*
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage
  • Methylphenidate / pharmacology*
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tropanes


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • SLC6A3 protein, human
  • Tropanes
  • technetium Tc 99m TRODAT-1
  • Methylphenidate