David A Dawson and Clare P Persad
Dysfunction of the dopamine system has been proposed to explain clinical manifestations of ADHD. ADHD patients have been demonstrated to lack appropriate dopamine levels. The neurotransmitter dopamine is commonly associated with the brain’s pleasure system, providing a feeling of enjoyment and motivation to perform specific tasks. The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in various dopamine-deficiency-related disorders, including ADHD. A complex interaction between the endocannabinoid system and dopamine production has been experimentally demonstrated. The endocannabinoid primarily responsible for the release of dopamine is anandamide and increasing the concentrations of this molecule has demonstrated therapeutic value in treating ADHD. In this review article, synthetic and natural exogenous and endogenous methods for increasing anandamide concentrations are described.