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Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Feb;118(2):356-62. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

EEG coherence in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid oppositional defiant disorder.

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Brain & Behaviour Research Institute and School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia.



This study is the first to investigate EEG coherence differences between two groups of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder combined type (AD/HD), with or without comorbid oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and normal control subjects.


Each group consisted of 20 males. All subjects were between the ages of 8 and 12 years, and groups were matched on age. EEG was recorded during an eyes-closed resting condition from 21 monopolar derivations. Wave-shape coherence was calculated for 8 intrahemispheric electrode pairs (4 in each hemisphere), and 8 interhemispheric electrode pairs, within each of the delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands.


Children with comorbid AD/HD and ODD had intrahemispheric coherences at shorter inter-electrode distances significantly reduced from those apparent in children with AD/HD without comorbid ODD. Such reduced coherences in the comorbid group appeared to wash out coherence elevations previously noted in AD/HD studies.


The present results suggest that, rather than suffering an additional deficit, children with AD/HD and comorbid ODD show significantly less CNS impairment than AD/HD patients without comorbid ODD.


These results have treatment implications, suggesting that behavioural training, perhaps using family-based cognitive behavioural therapy, could be useful for those children with AD/HD and comorbid ODD. This should focus on the ODD symptoms, in association with a medication regime focussed on the AD/HD symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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