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DanielLC comments on How well defined is ADHD? - Less Wrong Discussion

8 Post author: jsalvatier 15 November 2012 11:34PM

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Comment author: DanielLC 17 November 2012 07:31:29AM 0 points [-]

I'm given to understand that people with ADHD react differently to caffeine and Ritalin than other people do. They calm down people with ADHD, and have the opposite effect on people who don't.

Comment author: DanArmak 17 November 2012 12:20:31PM *  6 points [-]

If that is true, then coffee should be an excellent (cheap, safe, quick) test of ADHD. Has anyone done double-blind caffeine vs. decaf trials and correlated the results with other measures and diagnoses?

Comment author: jsalvatier 27 November 2012 12:27:07AM 1 point [-]

This would have been convincing if true, but is apparently false. Looks like the key difference is dose, at low doses stimulants aid focus and at high doses inhibit it (or something like that).

Comment author: DanielLC 27 November 2012 07:43:37AM 0 points [-]

Interesting. I wonder if it would be possible to detect someone with ADHD by their preferred dose.

Come to think of it, the original test could still work. If we know that caffeine affects people with ADHD differently, the fact that it's because they're taking a smaller dose is irrelevant. It does mean that you're not allowed to control dosage, so it would be more prone to error.

Comment author: jsalvatier 18 November 2012 10:22:59AM 0 points [-]

I've heard that too, which would definitely count as strong evidence. Would be cool to see studies comparing ritalin or caffeine on ADHD vs non ADHD people.