Is Adderall helpful for Traumatic Brain Injury?

Yes! Adderall is indeed very helpful for treatment in traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors. It forms an important part of the TBT pharmacotherapy. Adderall is the brand formulation of a mixture of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine salts. Amphetamines are widely used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It stimulates the chemical in our brains, nerve endings thus providing better attention and control over the body. Amphetamine drugs like adderall are prescribed to traumatic brain injury patients as many symptoms that the patients show are similar to ADHD. Adderall is believed to stimulate the frontal lobe of the brain increasing their ability to control the inappropriate and impulsive behaviour as well as enhancing the patient’s decision-making abilities.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and what is function of adderall in it?

Traumatic Brain Injury is defined as an injury of the brain caused by external forces. The percentage of TBIs is rapidly increasing throughout North America and motor accidents are believed to be the main cause. The injury causes permanent or temporary memory impairments, behavioural changes and several neuropsychological impairments. It has been cited as the main cause of mortality and morbidity in the young adults. Pharmacotherapy is widely used in the treatment of TBI survivors. The lack of consciousness (LOC) is one of the main impairment caused by this head injury. Other neuropsychiatric disorders include attention deficit, depression, anxiety, impulsive and inappropriate behaviour. This is why the neuro specialists prescribe psychostimulants like adderall to treat these impairments.

How Adderall is helpful in the treatment of TBI?

Psychostimulants like Adderall are mostly used in treating the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a disease having similar symptoms to that of traumatic brain injury in terms of executive functioning and aberration of neurotransmitters. While in the acute phase of TBI, when the patients are given adderall dosage they showed better attention and control than others. It also aids in improving the memory impairments and lack of consciousness. In the chronic stage of brain injury Adderall dosage helps in the improvement of mood, alertness and work performance. It also improves the fluency and selective attention in the patients.

Studies have suggested that the impact of adderall on chronic attention to be more ambiguous which implies the improvement of processing speed and attention to tasks in long term. It is also effective in the treatment of seizures, agitation and convulsions. In spite of accumulation of the controlled medical trials, no consensus on using the stimulants in the treatment of impairment of motor activities due to TBI has been acquired.

Different research works produce different results. One study has suggested that there is no solid proof to support the prolonged usage of Adderall in treating the traumatic brain injury impairments while another research had been conducted on ten different TBI patients which vowed in favour of using adderall in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, neurocognitive deficits, memory impairments, attention deficit and blurred speech induced by traumatic brain injury.