Logically, it seems like a hyperactive child and an adult with chronic fatigue syndrome would have nothing in common. So why would doctors and researchers eye ADD/ADHD drugs for their patients who have no energy at all?
When you look at what we know about the physiology of both illnesses, though, they actually do share several features.
- Both involve an inability to focus attention and difficulty learning.
- Both involve an in ability to tune out environmental stimulus.
- Both involve dysregulation of several neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain).
- And at least some people with both illnesses, it seems, respond to the class of drugs called neurostimulants, including Ritalin and Adderall.
Research on neurostimulants for chronic fatigue syndrome is in its early stages, but so far it looks promising -- at least for some subgroups. Several (but far from all) specialists recommend them and prescribe them regularly for this condition.
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