The role of working memory impairment in ADHD - new therapeutic indications

Zimbul Albo 1, Alan J. Lerner 1
1 - Center for Memory and Cognition, Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH USA
2008; 2 (1):
ICID: 981428
Article type: Review article
 Many individuals affected with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are faced with a constellation of symptoms and few therapeutic options. Although most of the drugs currently available for treatment are effective to some degree and target the inattention component, they lack the specificity needed to treat cognitive symptoms. Many patients complain of memory deficits as part their inability to cope with daily activities. We review here some concepts of working memory impairment in ADHD, and attempt to apply it to new therapeutic strategies that might prove valuable for treatment. Rivastigmine, a slowly reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, could alleviate the cognitive symptoms of impaired attention (possibly improving working memory function) of patients with ADHD through their action on the prefrontal cholinergic system. Rivastigmine is currently used to improve cholinergic neurotransmission and cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our discussion is aimed at broadening the spectrum of clinical diagnosis that could potentially benefit from it.

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