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22. Increased muscle tension

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22. Increased muscle tension

ADHD is often accompanied by increased muscle tension. This is not an expression of hyperactivity or a fundamental motor dysfunction. There are high-performance athletes with ADHD who cannot be said to have any fundamental motor dysfunction. Nevertheless, an increased muscle tension can also be observed in them.

According to Stray, the motor disinhibition and increased muscle tone in ADHD is directly associated with dysregulation of the dopamine and noradrenaline systems.1

This fits with the fact that in ADHD the increased muscle tone is directly reduced by methylphenidate.2

The reticular system is involved in3

  • Arousal regulation
  • Maintenance of muscle tone

The formatio reticularis can thereby 3

  • activate several muscles at the same time
  • Modulate body position adjustments for balance
  • for this, affect the stabilizing muscles (the proximal limb muscles and muscles that stabilize the spine).

The reticulospinal system (the set of descending fibers from the formatio reticularis) is important for3

  • Regulation of posture control
  • Movement regulation
  • Reduction of muscle activity in REM sleep
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