Computer-based inhibitory control training in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Evidence for behavioral and neural impact.
ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed psychological disorder of childhood. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy are effective treatments for many children; however, adherence to medication and therapy regimens is low. Thus, identifying effective adjunct treatments is imperative. Previous studies exploring computerized training programs as supplementary treatments have targeted working memory or attention. However, many lines of research suggest inhibitory control (IC) plays a central role in ADHD pathophysiology, which makes IC a potential intervention target. In this randomized control trial (NCT03363568), we target IC using a modified stop-signal task (SST) training designed by NeuroScouting, LLC in 40 children with ADHD, aged 8 to 11 years. Children were randomly assigned to adaptive treatment (n = 20) or non-adaptive control (n = 20) with identical stimuli and task goals. Children trained at home for at least 5 days a week (about 15m/day) for 4-weeks. Relative to the control group, the treatment group showed decreased relative theta power in resting EEG and trending improvements in parent ratings of attention (i.e. decreases in inattentive behaviors). Both groups showed improved SST performance. There was not evidence for treatment effects on hyperactivity or teacher ratings of symptoms. Results suggest training IC alone has potential to positively impact symptoms of ADHD and provide evidence for neural underpinnings of this impact (change in theta power; change in N200 latency). This shows promising initial results for the use of computerized training of IC in children with ADHD as a potential adjunct treatment option for children with ADHD.
Project description:Previous studies have found that theta activities exhibit posterior lateralized modulation as well as midfrontal event-related synchronization (ERS) during covert visual attention in adults. The present study investigated whether these theta modulations existed in children and whether they were associated with attentional problems in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Electroencephalography signals were recorded from typically developing (TD) children and children with ADHD (TD: n = 24; ADHD: n = 22) while they performed a cued covert visual attention task. The participants responded to a target following a cue designed as human eyes that gazed to the left or right visual field (70% validity). Compared with the TD children, the children with ADHD showed increased midfrontal theta ERS and significant posterior theta lateralization in response to the cues. More importantly, we found that the stronger posterior theta lateralization in the right hemisphere exhibited a positive trial-based correlation with the larger midfrontal theta ERS and predicted lower RT variability at the trial level in the children with ADHD. We suggest that ADHD may be associated with some enhanced systems in the frontal and posterior areas via theta oscillations, which may be involved in the compensatory maturation for their attention deficits in childhood, thereby promoting the stability of behavioral responses.
Project description:Sleep disturbances impair cognitive functioning in typically developing populations. Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by impaired inhibitory control and attention, commonly experience sleep disturbances. Whether inhibitory impairments are related to sleep deficits in children with ADHD is unknown. Children with ADHD (n?=?18; M age = 6.70 years) and typically developing controls (n?=?15; M age = 6.73 years) completed a Go/No-Go task to measure inhibitory control and sustained attention before and after polysomnography-monitored overnight sleep. Inhibitory control and sustained attention were improved following overnight sleep in typically developing children. Moreover, morning inhibitory control was positively correlated with rapid eye movement (REM) theta activity in this group. Although REM theta activity was greater in children with ADHD compared to typically developing children, it was functionally insignificant. Neither inhibitory control nor sustained attention was improved following overnight sleep in children with ADHD symptoms, and neither of these behaviors was associated with REM theta activity in this group. Taken together, these results indicate that elevated REM theta activity may be functionally related to ADHD symptomology, possibly reflecting delayed cortical maturation.
Project description:Computerized working memory and executive function training programs designed to target specific impairments in executive functioning are becoming increasingly available, yet how well these programs generalize to improve functional deficits in disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), beyond the training context is not well-established. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which working memory (WM) training in children with ADHD would diminish a core dysfunctional behavior associated with the disorder, "off-task" behavior during academic task performance. The effect of computerized WM training (adaptive) was compared to a placebo condition (nonadaptive) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in 26 children (18 males; age, 7 to 14 years old) diagnosed with ADHD. Participants completed the training in approximately 25 sessions. The Restricted Academic Situations Task (RAST) observational system was used to assess aspects of off-task behavior during the completion of an academic task. Traditional measures of ADHD symptoms (Conners' Parent Rating Scale) and WM ability (standardized WM tests) were also collected. WM training led to significant reductions in off-task ADHD-associated behavior on the RAST system and improvement on WM tests. There were no significant differences between groups in improvement on parent rating scales. Findings lend insight into the generalizability of the effects of WM training and the relation between deficits in WM and off-task behavioral components of ADHD. These preliminary data suggest WM training may provide a mechanism for indirectly altering academic performance in children with ADHD.
Project description:Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric condition of children with a prevalence of 5-10% worldwide. Up to 30% of adults with a history of childhood ADHD maintain symptoms in later life; these adult ADHD patients are severely impaired in social and professional life due to persistence of ADHD core symptoms like impulsivity, attention deficit and hyperactivity as well as frequently observed co-morbidities like alcohol and drug abuse, major depression, bipolar and personality disorders. Pharmaceutical treatment options include methylphenidate (MPH), which is amongst others an inhibitor of the dopamine transporter and therefore increases dopamine levels in the brain. However, not all ADHD patients are MPH responders with clinical features to distinguish responders and non-responders being not at hand so far. Likewise, neurobiological reasons for drug response are still elusive. Here, we examined the global transcriptional response of MPH on lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) derived from ADHD patients and unaffected controls.
Project description:Introduction:Neurofeedback (NF) has gained increasing popularity as a training method for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it is unclear to what extent children learn to regulate their brain activity and in what way NF learning may be affected by subject- and treatment-related factors. Methods:In total, 48 subjects with ADHD (age 8.5-16.5 years; 16 subjects on methylphenidate (MPH)) underwent 15 double training sessions of NF in either a clinical or a school setting. Four mixed-effects models were employed to analyze learning: training within-sessions, across-sessions, with continuous feedback, and with transfer in which performance feedback is delayed. Results:Age and MPH affected the NF performance in all models. Cross-session learning in the feedback condition was mainly moderated by age and MPH, whereas NF learning in the transfer condition was mainly boosted by MPH. Apart from IQ and task types, other subject-related or treatment-related effects were unrelated to NF learning. Conclusion:This first study analyzing moderators of NF learning in ADHD with a mixed-effects modeling approach shows that NF performance is moderated differentially by effects of age and MPH depending on the training task and time window. Future studies may benefit from using this approach to analyze NF learning and NF specificity. The trial name Neurofeedback and Computerized Cognitive Training in Different Settings for Children and Adolescents With ADHD is registered with NCT02358941.
Project description:Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are hyperactive and impulsive, cannot maintain attention, and have difficulties with social interactions. Medical treatment may alleviate symptoms of ADHD, but seldom solves difficulties with social interactions. Social-skills training may benefit ADHD children in their social interactions. We want to examine the effects of social-skills training on difficulties related to the children's ADHD symptoms and social interactions.The design is randomised two-armed, parallel group, assessor-blinded trial. Children aged 8-12 years with a diagnosis of ADHD are randomised to social-skills training and parental training plus standard treatment versus standard treatment alone. A sample size calculation estimated that at least 52 children must be included to show a 4-point difference in the primary outcome on the Conners 3rd Edition subscale for 'hyperactivity-impulsivity' between the intervention group and the control group. The outcomes will be assessed 3 and 6 months after randomisation. The primary outcome measure is ADHD symptoms. The secondary outcome is social skills. Tertiary outcomes include the relationship between social skills and symptoms of ADHD, the ability to form attachment, and parents' ADHD symptoms.We hope that the results from this trial will show that the social-skills training together with medication may have a greater general effect on ADHD symptoms and social and emotional competencies than medication alone.ClinicalTrials (NCT): NCT00937469.
Project description:This study examined the degree to which reinforcement, stimulant medication, and their combination impact response inhibition in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Across three studies, participants with ADHD (n = 111, 25 girls) and typically-developing (TD) controls (n = 33, 6 girls) completed a standard version of the stop signal task (SST) and/or a reinforcement-manipulation SST with performance-contingent points. In two of these studies, these tasks were performed under placebo or 0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg methylphenidate (MPH) conditions. Cross-study comparisons were conducted to test hypotheses regarding the separate and combined effects of reinforcement and methylphenidate on response inhibition among children with ADHD relative to TD controls. Baseline response inhibition was worse among children with ADHD compared to controls. MPH produced dose-related improvements in response inhibition in children with ADHD; compared to non-medicated TD controls, 0.3 mg/kg MPH normalized deficient response inhibition, and 0.6 mg/kg MPH resulted in better inhibition in children with ADHD. Reinforcement improved response inhibition to a greater extent for children with ADHD than for TD children, normalizing response inhibition. The combination of MPH and reinforcement improved response inhibition among children with ADHD compared to reinforcement alone and MPH alone, also resulting in normalization of response inhibition despite repeated task exposure. Deficient response inhibition commonly observed in children with ADHD is significantly improved with MPH and/or reinforcement, normalizing inhibition relative to TD children tested under standard conditions.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate the effects of social-skills training and parental training programme for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS:We conducted a randomized two-armed, parallel group, assessor-blinded superiority trial consisting of social-skills training plus parental training and standard treatment versus standard treatment alone. A sample size calculation showed at least 52 children should be included for the trial with follow up three and six months after randomization. The primary outcome measure was ADHD symptoms and secondary outcomes were social skills and emotional competences. RESULTS 56: children (39 boys, 17 girls, mean age 10.4 years, SD 1.31) with ADHD were randomized, 28 to the experimental group and 27 to the control group. Mixed-model analyses with repeated measures showed that the time course (y ?=? a + bt + ct(2)) of ADHD symptoms (p?=?0.40), social skills (p?=?0.80), and emotional competences (p?=?0.14) were not significantly influenced by the intervention. CONCLUSIONS:Social skills training plus parental training did not show any significant benefit for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder when compared with standard treatment. More and larger randomized trials are needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00937469.
Project description:Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by deficits in their executive functioning and motivation. In addition, these children are characterized by a decline in performance as time-on-task increases (i.e., time-on-task effects). However, it is unknown whether these time-on-task effects should be attributed to deficits in executive functioning or to deficits in motivation. Some studies in typically developing (TD) adults indicated that time-on-task effects should be interpreted as depletion of executive resources, but other studies suggested that they represent depletion of motivation. We, therefore, investigated, in children with and without ADHD, whether there were time-on-task effects on executive functions, such as inhibition and (in)attention, and whether these were best explained by depletion of executive resources or depletion of motivation. The stop-signal task (SST), which generates both indices of inhibition (stop-signal reaction time) and attention (reaction time variability and errors), was administered in 96 children (42 ADHD, 54 TD controls; aged 9-13). To differentiate between depletion of resources and depletion of motivation, the SST was administered twice. Half of the participants was reinforced during second task performance, potentially counteracting depletion of motivation. Multilevel analyses indicated that children with ADHD were more affected by time-on-task than controls on two measures of inattention, but not on inhibition. In the ADHD group, reinforcement only improved performance on one index of attention (i.e., reaction time variability). The current findings suggest that time-on-task effects in children with ADHD occur specifically in the attentional domain, and seem to originate in both depletion of executive resources and depletion of motivation. Clinical implications for diagnostics, psycho-education, and intervention are discussed.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of the study is to evaluate the long-term near-transfer effects of computerized working memory (WM) training on standard WM tasks in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).<h4>Method</h4>Sixty-seven children aged 10-12 years in Vestfold/Telemark counties (Norway) diagnosed with F90.0 Hyperkinetic disorder (ICD-10) were randomly assigned to training or control group. The training group participated in a 25-day training program at school, while the control group received treatment-as-usual. Participants were tested one week before intervention, immediately after and eight months later. Based on a component analysis, six measures of WM were grouped into composites representing Visual, Auditory and Manipulation WM.<h4>Results</h4>The training group had significant long-term differential gains compared to the control group on all outcome measures. Performance gains for the training group were significantly higher in the visual domain than in the auditory domain. The differential gain in Manipulation WM persisted after controlling for an increase in simple storage capacity.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Systematic training resulted in a long-term positive gain in performance on similar tasks, indicating the viability of training interventions for children with ADHD. The results provide evidence for both domain-general and domain-specific models. Far-transfer effects were not investigated in this article.<h4>Trial registration</h4>Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN19133620.