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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can Adderall abuse cause permanent brain damage?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3650 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 23 Sep 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: I’ve been taking 90mgs of adderall for the past two years due to counted use and a build up of tolerance i know that i shouldn’t have and i realize that if i continue the problem will only get worse. I want thing to go back to the way they use to be as in i take 3o mg once a day and it last for several hours, but I’ve also read that adderall causes permanent brain damage to the dopamine receptors in the brain and that my high level of tolerance will never go back down to where it used to be , even if i stop taking it for an extended period of time, please tell me if this is true.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

That dose you have been taking is indeed higher than the maximum therapeutic dosage, it is good that you finally realized what you were doing.

It is true that Adderall causes some changes in the expression of some genes, it is not a question of structural damage but changes in concentrations of certain proteins and genes. So getting back at the previous levels with the same efficacy won't be easy, you seem to already have realized that.

However it is not necessarily permanent, as I said it is not a change in the brain structure but in its activity. So gradually with time expression of those responsible genes will be downregulated towards what it used to be, you shouldn't think it is irreversible. It will be some time though before a new balance is restored, it won't be easy and won't happen overnight, might take several months.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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