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Neuropsychology. 2001 Oct;15(4):544-56.

Learning disabilities and executive dysfunction in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


The effect of comorbid reading or arithmetic learning disabilities (LDs) on neuropsychological function in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was studied. Participants were young males diagnosed with ADHD, with and without LD, and non-ADHD, non-LD male controls of similar age. LD was defined by combined regression-based and low-achievement classifications. Analyses adjusted for the effect of psychiatric comorbidity, age, and socioeconomic status on neuropsychological function. Children who had both ADHD and LD were significantly more impaired on both executive and nonexecutive functions than ADHD children without LD. Neuropsychological performance was most impaired in ADHD with combined arithmetic and reading disability. These data indicate that comorbid LD, especially arithmetic disability, significantly increases the severity of executive function impairment in ADHD.

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