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Fibromylagia, Chronic Fatigue, and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Adult: A Case Study

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By Joel L. Young, and Judith C. Redmond • • February 21, 2007

Journal: Psychopharmacology Bulletin. 2007;40(1):118-126. E-Publication ahead of print. [The full text of the article is available for online viewing in pdf format here ]

Authors and affiliation: JL Young, MD, & JC Redmond, MA. Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine, Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA. [E-mail: ]

Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may share common features with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

In an outpatient psychiatric clinic, a number of adult patients who presented primarily with symptoms of ADHD, predominately inattentive type, also reported unexplained fatigue, widespread musculoskeletal pain, or a pre-existing diagnosis of CFS or FMS.

As expected, ADHD pharmacotherapy usually attenuated the core ADHD symptoms of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Less expected was the observation that some patients also reported amelioration of pain and fatigue symptoms.

The utility of ADHD medications in FMS and CFS states may be their innate arousal and enhanced filtering properties. This model supposes that FMS and CFS are central processing problems rather than peripheral disorders of muscles and joints.

Keywords: attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, Fibromyalgia, pain, myofascial pain syndromes, fatigue syndrome, chronic, psychopharmacology, psychotropic drugs

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