How distinctive are ADHD and RD? Results of a double dissociation study.
ABSTRACT: The nature of the comorbidity between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Reading Disability (RD) was examined using a double dissociation design. Children were between 8 and 12 years of age and entered into four groups: ADHD only (n = 24), ADHD+RD (n = 29), RD only (n = 41) and normal controls (n = 26). In total, 120 children participated in the study; 38 girls and 82 boys. Both ADHD and RD were associated with impairments in inhibition and lexical decision, although inhibition and lexical decision were more severely impaired in RD than in ADHD. Visuospatial working memory deficits were specific to children with only ADHD. It is concluded that there was overlap on lexical decision and to a lesser extent on inhibition between ADHD and RD. In ADHD, impairments were dependent on IQ, which suggest that the overlap in lexical decision and inhibition is different in origin for ADHD and RD. The ADHD only group was specifically characterized by deficits in visuospatial working memory. Hence, no double dissociation between ADHD and RD was found on executive functioning and lexical decision.
Project description:A comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with reading difficulties (RD) is common in children. However, children with ADHD+RD have a different reading and executive functions (EF) profile than children with RD alone. We compared the effect of an EF-based intervention on neural circuits related to EF in children with RD and those with ADHD+RD. Functional connectivity MRI data from a lexical decision task suggest that the RD-alone group showed greater improvement in EF and reading tests and greater functional connectivity between networks related to both higher-and lower-level visual processing and those related to ventral attention and dorsal attention, as well as semantic processing. Children with ADHD+RD showed greater connectivity between networks related to attention and dorsal attention and those related to visual processing and EF. Results are consistent with the Cognitive Subtype hypothesis and suggest that RD and ADHD+RD, although related behaviourally, are distinct disorders with regard to network response and connectivity during reading and after an EF-based intervention.
Project description:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are commonly comorbid, share genetic liability, and often exhibit overlapping cognitive impairments. Clarification of shared and distinct cognitive effects while considering comorbid symptoms across disorders has been lacking. In the current study, children ages 7-15 years assigned to three diagnostic groups:ADHD (n?=?509), ASD (n?=?97), and controls (n?=?301) completed measures spanning the cognitive domains of attention/arousal, working memory, set-shifting, inhibition, and response variability. Specific processes contributing to response variability were examined using a drift diffusion model, which separately quantified drift rate (i.e., efficiency of information processing), boundary separation (i.e., speed-accuracy trade-offs), and non-decision time. Children with ADHD and ASD were impaired on attention/arousal, processing speed, working memory, and response inhibition, but did not differ from controls on measures of delayed reward discounting, set-shifting, or interference control. Overall, impairments in the ASD group were not attributable to ADHD symptoms using either continuous symptom measures or latent categorical grouping approaches. Similarly, impairments in the ADHD group were not attributable to ASD symptoms. When specific RT parameters were considered, children with ADHD and ASD shared impairments in drift rate. However, children with ASD were uniquely characterized by a wider boundary separation. Findings suggest a combination of overlapping and unique patterns of cognitive impairment for children with ASD as compared to those with ADHD, particularly when the processes underlying reaction time measures are considered separately.
Project description:Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with large magnitude impairments in working memory, whereas short-term memory deficits, when detected, tend to be less pronounced. However, confidence in these findings is limited due to task impurity combined with methodological and statistical limitations of the current evidence base. Method: A well-characterized, clinically evaluated sample of 172 children ages 8-13 years (M = 10.30, SD = 1.42; 72 girls; 64% White/non-Hispanic) were administered multiple, counterbalanced working memory tests. Bifactor-(s-1) modeling was used to characterize the presence and magnitude of central executive working memory, phonological short-term memory, and visuospatial short-term memory deficits in pediatric ADHD. Results: ADHD status was associated with very large magnitude impairments in central executive working memory that are present in most pediatric cases (d = 1.63-2.03; 75%-81% impaired), and these deficits covaried with ADHD inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptom severity based on both parent and teacher report. There was also evidence for a unique, albeit significantly smaller, impairment in visuospatial short-term memory (d = 0.60; 38% impaired); however, visuospatial short-term memory abilities did not covary with ADHD symptom severity. There was no evidence linking ADHD with phonological short-term memory deficits across either the dimensional or categorical analyses. Conclusion: These findings provide strong evidence that ADHD is associated with marked central executive working memory deficits that covary with their behavioral symptom presentation across settings. In contrast, visuospatial short-term memory deficits, when present, are likely epiphenomenal, and the most parsimonious conclusion appears to be that phonological short-term memory is intact in pediatric ADHD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:Impulsivity is a cardinal feature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is thought to underlie many of the cognitive and behavioural symptoms associated with the disorder. Impairments on some measures of impulsivity have been shown to be responsive to pharmacotherapy. However, impulsivity is a multi-factorial construct and the degree to which different forms of impulsivity contribute to impairments in ADHD or respond to pharmacological treatments remains unclear.The aims of the study were to assess the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on the performance of children with ADHD on measures of reflection-impulsivity and response inhibition and to compare with the performance of healthy volunteers.Twenty-one boys (aged 7-13 years) diagnosed with ADHD underwent a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MPH (0.5 mg/kg) during which they performed the Information Sampling Task (IST) and the Stop Signal Task. A healthy age- and education-matched control group was tested on the same measures without medication.Children with ADHD were impaired on measures of response inhibition, but did not demonstrate reflection-impulsivity on the IST. However, despite sampling a similar amount of information as their peers, the ADHD group made more poor decisions. MPH improved performance on measures of response inhibition and variability of response, but did not affect measures of reflection-impulsivity or quality of decision-making.MPH differentially affected two forms of impulsivity in children with ADHD and failed to ameliorate their poor decision-making on the information sampling test.
Project description:Twin studies indicate that the frequent co-occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and reading difficulties (RD) is largely due to shared genetic influences. Both disorders are associated with multiple cognitive impairments, but it remains unclear which cognitive impairments share the aetiological pathway, underlying the co-occurrence of the symptoms. We address this question using a sample of twins aged 7-10 and a range of cognitive measures previously associated with ADHD symptoms or RD.We performed multivariate structural equation modelling analyses on parent and teacher ratings on the ADHD symptom domains of inattention and hyperactivity, parent ratings on RD, and cognitive data on response inhibition (commission errors, CE), reaction time variability (RTV), verbal short-term memory (STM), working memory (WM) and choice impulsivity, from a population sample of 1312 twins aged 7-10 years.Three cognitive processes showed significant phenotypic and genetic associations with both inattention symptoms and RD: RTV, verbal WM and STM. While STM captured only 11% of the shared genetic risk between inattention and RD, the estimates increased somewhat for WM (21%) and RTV (28%); yet most of the genetic sharing between inattention and RD remained unaccounted for in each case.While response inhibition and choice impulsivity did not emerge as important cognitive processes underlying the co-occurrence between ADHD symptoms and RD, RTV and verbal memory processes separately showed significant phenotypic and genetic associations with both inattention symptoms and RD. Future studies employing longitudinal designs will be required to investigate the developmental pathways and direction of causality further.
Project description:Previous studies in children with ADHD identified two partially separable familial factors underlying cognitive dysfunction, but evidence in adolescents and adults is lacking. Here, we investigate the etiological structure of cognitive-neurophysiological impairments in ADHD in adolescents and young adults.Factor analyses and multivariate familial models were run in 356 participants from ADHD and control sibling pairs aged 11 to 27 years on data on IQ, digit span forward (DSF) and backward (DSB), and cognitive-performance and event-related potential (ERP) measures from three cognitive tasks.Three familial factors (cF1-3), showing substantial familial overlap with ADHD, captured the familial covariation of ADHD with nine cognitive-ERP measures. cF1 loaded on IQ, mean reaction time (MRT), and reaction-time variability (RTV); cF2 on DSF and DSB; and cF3 on number of errors and ERPs of inhibition and error processing.These results identify three partially separable etiological pathways leading to cognitive-neurophysiological impairments in adolescent and adult ADHD.
Project description:<b>Objective:</b> Previous studies in children with ADHD identified two partially separable familial factors underlying cognitive dysfunction, but evidence in adolescents and adults is lacking. Here, we investigate the etiological structure of cognitive-neurophysiological impairments in ADHD in adolescents and young adults. <b>Method:</b> Factor analyses and multivariate familial models were run in 356 participants from ADHD and control sibling pairs aged 11 to 27 years on data on IQ, digit span forward (DSF) and backward (DSB), and cognitive-performance and event-related potential (ERP) measures from three cognitive tasks. <b>Results:</b> Three familial factors (cF<sub>1-3</sub>), showing substantial familial overlap with ADHD, captured the familial covariation of ADHD with nine cognitive-ERP measures. cF<sub>1</sub> loaded on IQ, mean reaction time (MRT), and reaction-time variability (RTV); cF<sub>2</sub> on DSF and DSB; and cF<sub>3</sub> on number of errors and ERPs of inhibition and error processing. <b>Conclusion:</b> These results identify three partially separable etiological pathways leading to cognitive-neurophysiological impairments in adolescent and adult ADHD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Working memory deficits have been linked experimentally and developmentally with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related symptoms/impairments. Unfortunately, substantial evidence indicates that extant working memory training programs fail to improve these symptoms/impairments. We hypothesized that this discrepancy may reflect insufficient targeting, such that extant protocols do not adequately engage the specific working memory components linked with the disorder's behavioral/functional impairments. METHOD:The current study describes the development, empirical basis, and initial testing of central executive training (CET) relative to gold-standard behavioral parent training (BPT). Children with ADHD ages 8-13 (M = 10.43, SD = 1.59; 21 girls; 76% Caucasian/non-Hispanic) were treated using BPT (n = 27) or CET (n = 27). Detailed data analytic plans for the pre/post design were preregistered. Primary outcomes included phonological and visuospatial working memory, and secondary outcomes included actigraphy during working memory testing and two distal far-transfer tasks. Multiple feasibility/acceptability measures were included. RESULTS:The BPT and CET samples did not differ on any pretreatment characteristics. CET was rated as highly acceptable by children and was equivalent to BPT in terms of feasibility/acceptability as evidenced by parent-reported high satisfaction, low barriers to participation, and large ADHD symptom reductions. CET was superior to BPT for improving working memory (Group × Time d = 1.06) as hypothesized. CET was also superior to BPT for reducing actigraph-measured hyperactivity during visuospatial working memory testing and both distal far-transfer tasks (Group × Time d = 0.74). CONCLUSIONS:Results provide strong support for continued testing of CET and, if replicated, would support recent hypotheses that next-generation ADHD cognitive training protocols may overcome current limitations via improved targeting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Project description:Studies of brain alterations in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown heterogeneous results. The aims of the current study were to investigate white matter microstructure in children using both categorical and dimensional definitions of ADHD and to determine the functional consequences of observed alterations. In a large single-site sample of children (aged 8-15 years) with ADHD (n=83) and healthy controls (n=122), we used tract-based spatial statistics on diffusion tensor imaging data to investigate whole-skeleton differences of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean, axial, and radial diffusivity (MD, AD, RD), and mode of anisotropy related to ADHD status (categorical) and symptom severity (dimensional). For categorical differences observed, we analyzed their association with cognitive functioning in working memory and inhibition. Compared with healthy controls, children with ADHD showed decreased FA and increased RD in widespread, overlapping brain regions, mainly in corpus callosum (CC) and major tracts in the left hemisphere. Decreased FA was associated with inhibition performance in the participants with ADHD. Using dimensional definitions, greater hyperactivity/impulsivity symptom severity was associated with higher FA also in widespread regions, mainly in CC and major tracts in the right hemisphere. Our study showed white matter alterations to be related to ADHD status and symptom severity in patients. The coexistence of decreased FA and increased RD in the absence of alterations in MD or AD might indicate altered myelination as a pathophysiological factor in ADHD.
Project description:Executive functions (EFs) training interventions aimed at ADHD-symptom reduction have yielded mixed results. Generally, these interventions focus on training a single cognitive domain (e.g., working memory [WM], inhibition, or cognitive-flexibility). However, evidence suggests that most children with ADHD show deficits on multiple EFs, and that these EFs are largely related to different brain regions. Therefore, training multiple EFs might be a potentially more effective strategy to reduce EF-related ADHD symptoms.Eighty-nine children with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD (aged 8-12) were randomized to either a full-active-condition where visuospatial WM, inhibition and cognitive-flexibility were trained, a partially-active-condition where inhibition and cognitive-flexibility were trained and the WM-training task was presented in placebo-mode, or to a full placebo-condition. Short-term and long-term (3-months) effects of this gamified, 25-session, home-based computer-training were evaluated on multiple outcome domains.During training compliance was high (only 3% failed to meet compliance criteria). After training, only children in the full-active condition showed improvement on measures of visuospatial short-term-memory (STM) and WM. Inhibitory performance and interference control only improved in the full-active- and the partially-active condition. No Treatment-condition x Time interactions were found for cognitive-flexibility, verbal WM, complex-reasoning, nor for any parent-, teacher-, or child-rated ADHD behaviors, EF-behaviors, motivational behaviors, or general problem behaviors. Nonetheless, almost all measures showed main Time-effects, including the teacher-ratings.Improvements on inhibition and visuospatial STM and WM were specifically related to the type of treatment received. However, transfer to untrained EFs and behaviors was mostly nonspecific (i.e., only interference control improved exclusively in the two EF training conditions). As such, in this multiple EF-training, mainly nonspecific treatment factors - as opposed to the specific effects of training EFs-seem related to far transfer effects found on EF and behavior.trialregister.nl NTR2728. Registry name: improving executive functioning in children with ADHD: training executive functions within the context of a computer game; registry number: NTR2728.