Home Mind & Brain Luteolin Offers Neuroprotective Benefits Against Adderall-Induced Brain Changes

Luteolin Offers Neuroprotective Benefits Against Adderall-Induced Brain Changes

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The medical community has become increasingly aware of the side effects associated with Adderall, a drug commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

A new study, recently published in the journal Neuroscience Letters, offers new insights into mitigating these side effects using a naturally occurring compound, luteolin.

The research focused on the impact of Adderall on the brain and how luteolin, found in various foods like celery, broccoli, and carrots, could potentially counter these effects. The study is particularly significant given the widespread use of Adderall, not only for medical purposes but also as a cognitive enhancer in academic and professional settings.

Dr Khaled M. M. Koriem, a researcher from the National Research Centre, highlights the motivation behind the study: “Adderall is commonly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, and 80% of those who use these stimulants see improvements in ADHD symptoms.

“Children with ADHD who use Adderall generally have better relationships with peers and family members, perform better in school, and have longer attention spans; therefore, it must be better to search for a treatment that could restore Adderall-related neural disturbances without affecting its efficiency.

“From this point, the use of luteolin is very important due to its occurrence in many dietary sources and without any side effects. Therefore, this study evaluates the role of luteolin to amend neural neurotransmitters, antioxidants, and inflammatory markers in the cerebral cortex of Adderall-exposed rats.”

Adderall, a combination of four amphetamine salts, is known for its efficacy in improving concentration, attention, and control in individuals with ADHD. However, its long-term use has been associated with several adverse effects, including oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. These side effects can lead to various neurological complications, heightening the need for effective mitigation strategies.

Enter luteolin, a flavonoid with known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The study conducted on albino rats explored the impact of Adderall on the brain and how luteolin could offset these effects. Rats exposed to Adderall showed decreased levels of key neurotransmitters and antioxidants, along with increased inflammatory markers in their cerebral cortex. However, when treated with luteolin, these negative effects were significantly reduced, suggesting the compound’s potential as a neuroprotective agent.

Dr Koriem further explained the key findings: “Adderall decreased sucrose preference test, travel distance test, and centre square entries test, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, interleukin-10, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, γ-aminobutyric acid, and acetylcoline estrase but increased centre square duration test, tail suspension test, and forced swimming test, malondialdehyde, conjugated dienes, oxidative index, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6 levels in the cerebral cortex.

“Adderall increased the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein, ionised calcium binding adaptor molecule 1, and anti-calbindin in the cerebral cortex of Adderall-treated rats. In Adderall-treated rats, daily oral administration of luteolin for four weeks brought all these parameters back to values that were close to control, where a higher dose was more effective than a lower dose.”

The study divided 36 male albino rats into six groups, including control groups, luteolin-treated groups, and Adderall-exposed groups both with and without luteolin treatment. The results were compelling. Luteolin-treated groups showed a remarkable restoration of neurotransmitter levels and a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation, compared to the Adderall-only groups.

“The importance of this research,” Dr Koriem added, “is to provide a natural compound that amends Adderall-related neural disturbances. This natural compound is cheap, available without any side effects, and does not interfere with Adderall’s efficiency.”

The findings from this study have far-reaching implications. They suggest that luteolin, easily obtainable from dietary sources and without known side effects, could be a viable option for counteracting the adverse effects of Adderall on the brain. This revelation is particularly noteworthy considering the natural origin of luteolin, which contrasts with many pharmaceutical interventions that come with their own set of side effects.

But the researchers caution that, while the results are promising, further studies, particularly clinical trials in humans, are necessary to fully understand the implications of luteolin treatment in the context of Adderall use. Dr Koriem mentioned that “a clinical study will be conducted as the second stage of this research and the results will be favourable if luteolin can diminish Adderall-related symptoms in those people.”

This study is a significant stride in the quest for natural, effective treatments against the side effects of commonly used pharmaceuticals like Adderall. It opens up new avenues for research into the protective effects of natural compounds on the brain, which is crucial in an era where the use of cognitive enhancers is on the rise.

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