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Int J Psychophysiol. 2019 Aug;142:50-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2019.06.008. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

The relationship between auditory evoked potentials and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adult patients with major depressive disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chonnam National University, Yeosu, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:



Loudness dependence of auditory evoked potential (LDAEP) has been proposed as a biological marker for central serotonergic activity in depressive illness. A recent study has suggested that serotonin plays an important role in impulsivity and emotional sensitivity that are prominent clinical manifestations in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of this study was to examine the association between LDAEP and ADHD symptoms in major depressive disorder (MDD).


A total of 60 participants (40 subjects with MDD and 20 healthy controls) aged >18 years who had LDAEPs performed during electroencephalograms were included in this study. ADHD symptoms, depressive, and anxiety symptoms were evaluated. Psychological characteristics and event-related potentials (ERP) were compared among three groups: depression with ADHD symptoms, depression without ADHD symptoms, and healthy controls.


MDD subjects with ADHD symptoms (N = 20) showed significantly lower LDAEP levels than those without ADHD symptoms (N = 20) and healthy controls (N = 20). LDAEP differences between MDD subjects without ADHD symptoms and healthy controls were not statistically significant. In partial correlation analyses adjusted for age and sex, significant correlations of psychological scales of depression, ADHD symptoms, and LDAEPs were found.


Results of the present study suggest that LDAEP can reflect adult ADHD symptoms in MDD. Auditory evoked potential appears to be a promising candidate as an evaluation tool for inattention and poor impulse control as well as emotional sensitivity.


ADHD; Adult; Depression; LDAEP

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