Urinary Catecholamines in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with and without Comorbid Anxiety

STEVEN R. PLISZKA, JAMES W. MAAS, MARTIN A. JAVORS, GRAHAM A. ROGENESS, JEANETTE BAKER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine whether there are differences in noradrenergic or adrenergic functioning in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without anxiety. ADHD children with and without a comorbid overanxious (ANX) disorder were compared to each other and to normal controls in terms of 2-hour urinary excretion of norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (EPI), and their metabolites. All subjects performed a fixed series of mentally stressful tasks during the collection period. Children with ADHD, regardless of comorbid anxiety, excreted more normetanephrine (NMN), the chief extracellular metabolite of NE, than controls, as well as more vanillyimandelic acid. Children with ADHD alone had lower NE/NMN and EPI/metanephrine ratios compared to controls. Children with ADHD/ANX excreted more EPI than ADHD children without anxiety. Children with ADHD may have a higher tonic activity of the noradrenergic system than controls, while children with comorbid ADHD/ANX may be differentiated from those with ADHD alone by higher adrenergic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume33
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • catecholamines
  • epinephrine
  • norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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