Working Memory in ADHD: Prefrontal / Parietal Connections

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Abstract:

Current theories of dopaminergic and noradrenergic mechanisms, which are thought to be of importance in the regulation of attention are reviewed. A biphasic model of dopaminergic function is described, in which tonic dopamine exerts a suppressive influence on subcortical dopamine systems by altering tonic / phasic dopaminergic relationships. Noradrenergic mechanisms are of importance in modulating sensory processing at the prefrontal cortical level. The work of Silberstein and colleagues utilizing Steady-State Visually Evoked Potential, during the course of an A-X Continuous Performance Task enables examination of the spatial distribution and dynamics of electrical brain activity during the task. The maintenance of activation in the interval between A and X provides a measure of working memory, thought to be related to prefrontal-parietal activation, which is facilitated by administration of methylphenidate to children with ADHD, suggesting that working memory may be a core deficiency in children with ADHD. While tonic dopamine activity in vental striatum / accumbens gates inhibitory activity, dorsolateral prefrontal-parietal connections allow maintenance of working memory required for goal completion.
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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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