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Methylphenidate response in aggressive and nonaggressive ADHD children: distinctions on laboratory measures of symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, City University of New York, Flushing 11367.


Response to a single, 5-mg dose of methylphenidate was compared in aggressive and nonaggressive attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children using objective measures of inattention, impulsivity, and activity level. After medication, both ADHD groups had a significant decrease in inattention, whereas impulsivity remained unchanged. Activity level decreased only in the nonaggressive ADHD group. Unmedicated normal controls showed no change on any measure. These results support the hypothesis that aggressive and nonaggressive ADHD children have somewhat different underlying determinants for some of their symptoms. In addition, they suggest that inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity may be mediated by partially distinct neural mechanisms.

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