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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Apr;24(4):519-28. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.01.007. Epub 2014 Jan 18.

OROS-methylphenidate efficacy on specific executive functioning deficits in adults with ADHD: a randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study.

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PsyQ, Expertise Center Adult ADHD, The Hague, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
PsyQ, Expertise Center Adult ADHD, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Department of Psychiatry and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to impaired executive functioning (EF). This is the first study to objectively investigate the effects of a long-acting methylphenidate on neurocognitive test performance of adults with ADHD. Twenty-two adults with ADHD participated in a 6-weeks study examining the effect of osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-mph) on continuous performance tests (CPTs; objective measures), and on the self-reported ADHD rating scale (subjective measure) using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. OROS-mph significantly improved reaction time variability (RTV), commission errors (CE) and d-prime (DP) as compared to baseline (Cohen's d>.50), but did not affect hit reaction time (HRT) or omission errors (OE). Compared to placebo, OROS-mph only significantly influenced RTV on one of two CPTs (p<.050). Linear regression analyses showed predictive ability of more beneficial OROS-mph effects in ADHD patients with higher EF severity (RTV: β=.670, t=2.097, p=.042; omission errors (OE): β=-.098, t=-4.759, p<.001), and with more severe ADHD symptoms (RTV: F=6.363, p=.019; HRT: F=3.914, p=.061). Side effects rates were substantially but non-significantly greater for OROS-mph compared to placebo (77% vs. 46%, p=.063). OROS-mph effects indicated RTV as the most sensitive parameter for measuring both neuropsychological and behavioral deficits in adults with ADHD. These findings suggest RTV as an endophenotypic parameter for ADHD symptomatology, and propose CPTs as an objective method for monitoring methylphenidate titration.


Adults; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Continuous performance test; Executive functioning (EF); OROS-methylphenidate; Randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study

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