Adderall abuse with students

Another interesting psychopharmacology issue. We’ve covered the SSRIs here before but the newest trend is among high-school and college-age wanting something to help them focus, do better on tests, etc. Adderall, prescription amphetamine salts for ADHD, seems to be the drug of choice. Article from the Christian Science Monitor follows. (A quick search on Google News shows just how much press this issue has been getting.)
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Neural Synchrony, Axonal Path Lengths, and General Anesthesia: A Hypothesis

The way that general anesthetics work is still somewhat mysterious. Here’s one intriguing hypothesis.

Anesthetics increase conduction velocity in myelinated fibers. Perhaps they disrupt the carefully calibrated timing of axonal transmission. This may selectively interfere with spike timing-based computation, while leaving rate-based computation intact. If consciousness (or some general class of higher-order functions) is spike timing based, but lower-order functions are rate-based, this would explain why anesthetics selectively affect higher-order functions.

Swindale, Nicholas V. Neural Synchrony, Axonal Path Lengths, and General Anesthesia: A Hypothesis. Neuroscientist 2003 9: 440-445

I didn’t read the article yet (I don’t have access privs to that journal), but it looks cool.

(related NeuroWiki page: GeneralAnesthesia)