Tobacco and ADHD: A Role of MAO-Inhibition in Nicotine Dependence and Alleviation of ADHD Symptoms (2022)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
- Health: Journal Articles 
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a relatively commonly occurring neurodevelopmental disorder affecting approximately 5% of children and young people. The neurobiological mechanisms of ADHD are proposed to particularly center around increased dopamine receptor availability related to associated symptoms of reduced attention regulation and impulsivity. ADHD is also persistent across the lifespan and associated with a raft of impulsive and health-risk behaviors including substance abuse and smoking. Research highlighting the potentially significant levels of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory properties in tobacco smoke and e-cigarettes may provide a mechanism for increased tobacco smoke dependence among those with ADHD, in addition to the role of nicotine. Aim: This scoping review aimed to establish evidence for the above neurobiological pathway between smoking and ADHD symptom-alleviation or “self-medication” with the inclusion of the mechanism of MAO-inhibitors indirect increasing dopamine in the brain. Methodology: Scoping review methodologies were employed in this review selected to synthesize multiple sources of empirical research to identify current gaps in the knowledge base and identify key characteristics of research data related to a phenomenon. Databases searched included OVID MEDLINE(R), Embase, Cochrane, PsycINFO and SCOPUS limited to 2000 onward and empirically validated, peer-reviewed research. Findings: There is support for the role of MAO-inhibition on greater reinforcement of smoking for individuals with ADHD through a greater impact on dopaminergic availability than nicotine; potentially moderating ADHD symptoms. Conclusion: Greater support for a “self-medication” model of ADHD and smoking includes not only nicotine but also MAO-inhibitors as dopamine agonists contained in cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
CitationTaylor MR, Carrasco K, Carrasco A, Basu A (2022). Tobacco and ADHD: A Role of MAO-Inhibition in Nicotine Dependence and Alleviation of ADHD Symptoms. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 16. 845646-.
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KeywordsADHD; MAOI’s; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; cigarette; e-cigarette; monoamine-oxidase inhibitors; self-medication; smoking
ANZSRC Fields of Research32 - Biomedical and clinical sciences::3209 - Neurosciences::320905 - Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
52 - Psychology::5202 - Biological psychology::520202 - Behavioural neuroscience
52 - Psychology::5204 - Cognitive and computational psychology::520402 - Decision making
RightsCopyright © 2022 Taylor, Carrasco, Carrasco and Basu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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