New study offers clues about how misused drugs affect healthy brains and hints at an undiscovered link between glutamate and mood

March 14, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new study shows that healthy people who take attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs experience a surge in the neurotransmitter glutamate in key parts of the brain. And that increase in glutamate is associated with subsequent changes in positive emotion.

The findings, led by Tara White, assistant professor of Behavioral and Social Health Sciences, and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, not only provide clues about how these drugs affect healthy brains, they also hint at a previously undiscovered link between glutamate and mood.