ADDition

Blog about personal experience with ADHD by Robert Dawson

How Concerta works genetically

If you're interested in genetics and you take medication, you have to check out PharmGKB. I looked up the pharmacogenetics (new word for me, too) of methylphenidate (i.e., Ritalin, Concerta) and found that it is thought to be associated with several genes and to target several others.

Genes associated with methylphenidate

  • ADRA2A - regulates "neurotransmitter release from sympathetic nerves and from adrenergic neurons in the central nervous system"
  • CES1 - "responsible for the hydrolysis or transesterification of various xenobiotics, such as cocaine and heroin, and endogenous substrates with ester, thioester, or amide bonds"
  • COMT - "catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine to catecholamines, including the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine"
  • DRD4 - "encodes the D4 subtype of the dopamine receptor"
  • SLC6A3 - "encodes a dopamine transporter which is a member of the sodium- and chloride-dependent neurotransmitter transporter family"
  • SNAP25 - "presynaptic plasma membrane protein involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release"

Genes targeted by methylphenidate

  • SLC6A2 - "responsible for reuptake of norepinephrine into presynaptic nerve terminals and is a regulator of norepinephrine homeostasis"
  • SLC6A3 - "encodes a dopamine transporter which is a member of the sodium- and chloride-dependent neurotransmitter transporter family"
  • SLC6A4 - "encodes an integral membrane protein that transports the neurotransmitter serotonin from synaptic spaces into presynaptic neurons"
As an aside, I'm starting to think that lack of sleep contributes most to afternoon nausea.