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Old 10-20-18, 07:52 AM
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Re: ADHD boost Parkinson's risk

Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I do not like this at all. I want to see the study and see if its peer reviewed. I want to see if the scientific community supports this or if its one person. I would want to see their study participant samples and if there is an appropriate control group.
Are they saying amphetamines are ok and only amphetamine like drugs are bad? Or do they mean amphetamines as well?
Hmm. From what I've read, methylphenidate usually shows less neurotoxicity than amphetamine in animal studies, so when I read "especially Ritalin", my first thought is the Parkinson's link probably comes from something other than the drugs. I even saw one study where methylphendiate appeared to protect against the dopamine damage from large doses of meth.

Then again, there's a limit to how much you can generalize between different species. But as they pointed out, both ADHD and Parkinson's disease involve dopamine-related pathology. That could very well explain the correlation. I haven't researched their methodology, but it doesn't feel like they're rushing to claim causation.

On the other hand, I can't definitively prove there isn't some risk from long-term stimulant use, in which case... it's something I worry about from time to time, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather increase my risk of Parkinson's later in life than deal with unmedicated ADHD for 30-40 more years. I currently have three diagnoses: ADHD, autism, and Tourette syndrome, and if I could wave my finger and cure one of them, it would be ADHD. Hands down.

The autism is a persistent soup of isolation and obsessive tendencies, but I've gotten a decent number of friends at this point, and the obsessive tendencies can be useful at times. Witness: the sixth-grader who's memorized the location of every health upgrade in Majora's Mask and the name of almost every Pokémon (at the time) by heart. That doesn't sound like much, but applied to school? Repetitive interest is a powerful thing. Not without downsides, but... you know what makes repetitive interests and reading harder to control? I'm holding up four letters, and they're why I take Vyvanse.

Everyone has different symptoms, but for me personally, the worst thing about autism is that it's probably connected to my ADHD on some level. I don't know if it directly "caused" it, but the comorbidity rates speak for themselves. Nonetheless, if I could choose between eliminating my social issues and my issues with executive functioning... I'd rather be able to organize myself like a normal person (without stimulants) than look more like one. And this is coming from someone who currently has three A's and one B+ this semester in college, with an overall GPA well above 3.0.

As for the Tourette syndrome? I used to feel guilty and self-conscious about my tics, but in the end, they're not dangerous. They just look weird. I've had people comment on them from time to time, and I suspect they're a little off-putting, but if I fit in perfectly, I wouldn't have autism. I've been working on my posture and body language lately, but I've made peace with a certain underlying awkwardness. There are ways to work around it.

The only mental issues I've experienced that I hated half as much as ADHD were a handful of nasty, prolonged depressive episodes. Except... in retrospect, each and every one of them had roots in the ADHD-induced fatigue and confusion. Sometimes it was the symptoms themselves, sometimes it was my guilt over them, and sometimes it was both. But one way or another, the ADHD always contributed. And most major depressive episodes eventually self-terminate, even without treatment. Thus far, the ADHD endures. It is the enemy I face every morning, even when I take Vyvanse. It's why 7-8 hours of sleep and regular aerobic exercise are necessities for me instead of options. It's why I can't blow a couple of hours looking at Facebook without paying a price for it. When you already struggle with attention and vigilance, those negative but commonplace blows to attention can spiral out of control very quickly. It's almost like a chronic, minor concussion. Heck, it probably does come from head injures, in some cases.

If I'm lucky, it might go away in a decade or two, but I'm not holding my breath. Until then? I'll take my chances with the stimulants. They're not the only item necessary to combat it — exercise, proper sleep, general daily organization — but they're probably the single most individually effective one, and they make the other steps easier to implement.

That said, some people have a lot milder ADHD than me, so I understand if they don't view it as an enemy in the same way.

Wow. Long post
Diagnoses: ASD, ADHD, Tourette syndrome
Meds: Vyvanse 40mg
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