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Central nervous system (CNS) stimulants affect the action of certain chemicals in the brain, allowing us to control how we pay attention and organise our behaviour.

There are two main groups of stimulant medication:  methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine. These are used to treat conditions such as ADHD, hyperkinetic disorder and narcolepsy.

There are several other types of other drugs, such as selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, which are also used to treat these conditions and are therefore grouped with them.

Some people believe that stimulants can be used with some individuals with autism to reduce problem behaviours, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

Specific CNS  Stimulants

  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Levoamphetamine
  • Methylphenidate

Specific selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors

  • Atomoxetine

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This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.