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Compr Psychiatry. 2007 Nov-Dec;48(6):562-71. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

Seasonality and circadian preference in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: clinical and neuropsychological correlates.

Author information

1
Mood and Anxiety Division of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5T 1R8 Canada. irybak@uwo.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the study was to measure both seasonal mood change and circadian preference, and their clinical and neuropsychological correlates, in adults with ADHD during the fall/winter months.

METHOD:

Twenty-nine adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were assessed in the fall/winter season using self-report measures of ADHD, mood, seasonality, and circadian preference. Neuropsychological tests were also completed. Correlations between chronobiologic variables and clinical/neuropsychological measures were performed.

RESULTS:

Consistent with prior work in adult ADHD, high rates of seasonal depression were reported in this sample. Based on the morningness-eveningness questionnaire, which assesses circadian preference 11 (40.7%, N = 27) subjects were designated as evening types and only 5 (18.5%) as morning types, a distribution highly discrepant with general population studies. Later circadian preference, independent of seasonality, was strongly correlated with both self-reported symptoms of ADHD and neuropsychological deficits, including impulsive responding and poor target discrimination. None of these findings was attributable to state depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the fall/winter period, a mood-independent delay in circadian phase may contribute significantly to core pathology in many adults with ADHD. These findings establish a potential target for chronobiologic treatments such as light therapy in this complex population.

PMID:
17954143
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2007.05.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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