Equally contributing first authors.
A neurophysiological marker of impaired preparation in an 11-year follow-up study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2012 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 54, Issue 3, pages 260–270, March 2013
How to Cite
Doehnert, M., Brandeis, D., Schneider, G., Drechsler, R. and Steinhausen, H.-C. (2013), A neurophysiological marker of impaired preparation in an 11-year follow-up study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54: 260–270. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02572.x
Conflict of interest statement: All authors reported no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.
- Issue published online: 11 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Accepted for publication: 08 May 2012Published online: 13 July 2012
- developmental lag;
Background: This longitudinal electrophysiological study investigated the course of multiple impaired cognitive brain functions in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from childhood to adulthood by comparing developmental trajectories of individuals with ADHD and typically developing controls.
Methods: Subjects with ADHD (N = 11) and normal controls (N = 12) diagnosed in childhood [mean age ADHD/CTRL = 10.9 years [SD 1.72]/10.0 years (SD 1.03)] were followed up after 1.1 and 2.4 years, and as young adults [ADHD/CTRL: 21.9 years (SD 1.46)/21.1 years (SD 1.29)].
At all four times, event-related potential (ERP) maps were recorded during a cued continuous performance test (CPT). We focused on residual deficits as adults, and on developmental trajectories (time and time × group effects) for CPT performance and attentional (Cue P300), preparatory (CNV: contingent negative variation) and inhibitory (NoGo P300) ERP components.
Results: All ERP components developed without significant time × group interactions. Only the CNV remained reduced in the ADHD group, although 8/11 individuals no longer met a full ADHD diagnosis as adults. Cue P300 and NoGo P300 group differences became nonsignificant in early adulthood. The CNV parameters correlated with reaction time (RT) and RT-SD. Perceptual sensitivity improved and the groups’ trajectories converged with development, while RT-SD continued to be elevated in adult ADHD subjects.
Conclusions: Attentional and preparatory deficits in ADHD continue into adulthood, and the attenuated CNV appears to reflect a particularly stable ADHD marker. Although some deficit reductions may have gone undetected due to small sample size, the findings challenge those developmental lag models postulating that most ADHD-related deficits become negligible with brain maturation.