Influence of striatal dopamine transporter availability on the response to methylphenidate in adult patients with ADHD

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005 Dec;255(6):428-31. doi: 10.1007/s00406-005-0602-x. Epub 2005 Aug 17.


In this study, we investigated whether availability of striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) may have an influence on the response of adult patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on methylphenidate (MPH). In 18 non-smoking and non-medicated adult patients with ADHD, availability of DAT was measured with [(99m)Tc] TRODAT-1 SPECT. Then, the patients received methylphenidate (MPH), individually titrated up to 60 mg per day. Ten weeks later, clinical improvement was rated by Clinical Global Impressions scale. In all, 6 patients were classified as non-responders, and 12 responded to MPH. From the non-responders, 5 presented with a DAT availability below that of normal controls of the same age, whereas in the group of responders all patients had elevated DAT availability. There was a significant negative correlation between values for global clinical improvement and striatal DAT availability. In conclusion, ADHD patients with low DAT availability seem not to respond to therapy with MPH.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neostriatum / diagnostic imaging
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tropanes


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tropanes
  • technetium Tc 99m TRODAT-1
  • Methylphenidate