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A Comparison of Ritalin and Adderall and Their Effects in the Human Body

A Comparison of Ritalin and Adderall and Their Effects in the Human Body
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  Chemistry Essay Jai Sharma A comparison of Ritalin and Adderall and their effects in the human body  Ritalin and Adderall are both common drugs used primarily to treat the effects of ADHD and narco   lepsy. Both drugs have also been noted to be able to increase the ability of a person’s concentration and subsequently have been used by American students as a study aid. The full name of Ritalin is methyl phenyl(piperidin-2-yl)acetate but is shortened to Methylphenidate. Its structure composes of a benzene ring as a phenyl, an oxygen structure similar to a carboxylic acid attached to a methyl group and a separate hexagonal carbon ring with a secondary amine group replacing one of the carbon atoms in the ring. The current accepted theory on how Ritalin works is by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is released as a chemical in the body to transmit signals form one nerve cell to the other and eventually removed from the synapse at the end of the nerve cell by the transporter DAT. Ritalin blocks the DAT causing a larger amount of dopamine to remain on the synapses, keeping receptors more active to incoming signals in the nervous system. This excess of dopamine is added to by the natural release due to nerve stimulus. Since conditions such as ADHD have been linked to a deficit of dopamine in the brain, this is the mechanism by which Ritalin attempts to treat the effects of the condition. Similarly, narcolepsy is a condition of sleep disorder, where an increase of dopamine in the system can increases brain function in attempt to reduce the effects of an unregulated sleep/wake cycle. Adderall is the brand name of a mixture of amphetamine salts. Amphetamine consists of a 3 carbon chain with a phenyl group linked to carbon atom 1 and a primary amine linked to carbon atom 2. Therefore, its full name is 1-phenyl-2-aminopropane. In Adderall, the two left hand and right hand isomers of amphetamine (which are dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine) are mixed in a 3:1 ratio respectively. Adderall is recommended as a substitute to Ritalin for those who experience bad side effects. Similar to Ritalin, Adderall also affects the amount of dopamine in the human nervous system in an effort to combat the effects of such conditions as ADHD and narcolepsy. It does this by stimulating the body to produce an excess of dopamine as well as blocking the uptake of dopamine via the block of DAT in the body, as Ritalin does. Adderall also stimulates the release of norepinephrine, another chemical in the body. A lack of norepinephrine is linked ADHD. The stimulation of the release of Adrenaline also occurs due to Adderall. Both Adderall and Ritalin are both psycho-stimulant drugs and may have very detrimental effects to the human body if intake is not moderated or controlled. Therefor they are both controlled drugs and may only be in possession of individuals with prescription from a doctor. Since the drugs also affect the dopamine balance in your brain and nervous system, their side effects can be abused as a recreational drug. This is due to dopamine being the primary chemical released related to the complex reward system and happiness systems of our brains. This is modelled by the fact that a more concentrated form of the amphetamine found in Adderall is commonly sold as the street drug Speed. Furthermore, amphetamines dramatically increase the release of acetylcholine in the body. The function of acetylcholine in the brain is an increase in attention as well as general ability of being able to intake and retains information. Such qualities of amphetamines in Adderall have caused widespread abuse by college students in the USA. Skeletal Formula of Ritalin Skeletal Formula of Amphetamine  Chemistry Essay Jai Sharma
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