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Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Jun 1;57(11):1452-60.

Executive functions and methylphenidate response in subtypes of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Gillian@hebb.psych.mcgill.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oculomotor tasks are a well-established means of studying executive functions and frontal-striatal functioning in both nonhuman primates and humans. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought to implicate frontal-striatal circuitry. We used oculomotor tests to investigate executive functions and methylphenidate response in two subtypes of ADHD.

METHODS:

Subjects were boys, aged 11.5-14 years, with ADHD-combined (n = 10), ADHD-inattentive (n = 12), and control subjects (n = 10). Executive functions assessed were motor planning (tapped with predictive saccades), response inhibition (antisaccades), and task switching (saccades-antisaccades mixed).

RESULTS:

The ADHD-combined boys were impaired relative to control subjects in motor planning (p < .003) and response inhibition (p < .007) but not in task switching (p > .92). They were also significantly impaired relative to ADHD-inattentive boys, making fewer predictive saccades (p < .03) and having more subjects with antisaccade performance in the impaired range (p < .04). Methylphenidate significantly improved motor planning and response inhibition in both subtypes.

CONCLUSIONS:

ADHD-combined but not ADHD-inattentive boys showed impairments on motor planning and response inhibition. These deficits might be mediated by brain structures implicated specifically in the hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Methylphenidate improved oculomotor performance in both subtypes; thus, it was effective even when initial performance was not impaired.

PMID:
15950020
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.02.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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