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Optimization Of Ritalin For More Effective Results

1301 words - 5 pages

Ritalin (Methylphenidate) Optimization
Ritalin Pills

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is currently the dominating psychiatric
disorder found in children. The creation of the drug Ritalin based on the molecule
Methylphenidate in the early 90’s sparked a widespread use of this psycho stimulant, which still
remains as one of the most popular drugs used to counteract the symptoms of ADHD. My
ultimate goal in this research project is to design analogs for the drug Ritalin in the hopes of
discovering a more effective version of this medication. Through research, it can be concluded
that none the analogs suggested are suitable candidates for new drugs based on the results.
With 3-5 percent of school children today diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), ADHD has been reported to account for 50 percent of the child psychiatric
population seen at the clinic. Methylphenidate (figure 1)
serves as the dominant drug used in medications
counteracting the symptoms of ADHD. (1) Among those
medications, Ritalin is currently prescribed for daily use to
1.5 million school children in the United States, making it
one of the most widely used prescription medications
today. (2) The optimization of Ritalin is of utmost
importance and will therefore, be the topic of this project.
Scientists believe that ADHD is caused by an imbalance between dopaminergic,
noradrenergic and serotonergic neurotransmitter systems. However, this theory remains
questionable due to an insufficient amount of evidence. Methylphenidate’s mechanism of action,
Fig. 1: Methylphenidate
Molecular Structure
which is based on dopamine synaptic uptake inhibition,
essentially allows it to binds to the dopamine
transporter. This result in a prolonged psychostimulant
effect, more widely know as a high, as the
neurotransmitters called dopamine are unable to be
cleared from the synapse. The molecular structure of
methylphenidate contains a phenethylamine portion
which superimposes on its supposed neural substrates
dopamine and norepinephrine, allowing it to interact
with its intended receptor (figure 2). (1) A closer
examination of this compound’s molecular structure
reveals that it complies with Lipinski’s rule of five,
even though its partition coefficient is yet to be found. It molecular structure contains 3 hydrogen
acceptors and 1 hydrogen donor, whiles its molecular weight is 233.31 g/mol, well under the
suggested limit of 500 g/mol.
In this project, analogs of the drug compound Ritalin (methylphenidate) will be designed
in order to attempt to optimize it. When the designs ar e complete, the software provided by the
chemistry department of UC Davis will be used to generate the necessary data to predict their
effectiveness and assess their potential in becoming suitable candidates for new drugs.
Fig. 2: Methylphenidate compared to
Dopamine and Amphetamine
The first analog of Ritalin (figure 3)...

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