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Background: Recent neuropsychological theories have targeted deficient executive functions (EF) as the main characteristic of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but the nature of the neuropsychological deficits remains elusive and findings are heterogeneous. In particular, it is still unclear whether ADHD subtypes and comorbidity affect intellectual and executive functioning, because large variability has been found in different patient populations. Furthermore, the role of IQ in EF deficits in individuals with ADHD has been debated. Methods: The aim of the present research was to study in detail the relationship between EF, ADHD subtypes, and comorbid diagnosis by taking into account the potential role of IQ. For this purpose, 23 children (aged from 5 to 16years; 20 males and 3 females) with a diagnosis of ADHD were selected. Results: Data show no differences between children with different subtypes of ADHD on measures of EF, but they evidence differences on EF measures in children with different comorbidities (internalizing versus externalizing disorder). Namely, compared to the internalizing disorders group, the children with externalizing disorders obtained significantly lower scores on different measures of EF (i.e., verbal working memory and categorical fluency), but these differences were strictly dependent on IQ level. Conclusions: Comorbidity patterns, rather than ADHD subtypes, appear to be more valid for defining the neuropsychological features of the ADHD endophenotype. Moreover, general intelligence seems to play a substantial role in the cognitive processes underling the disorder, especially in relation to externalizing aspects.
Children's Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome, Italy.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Brain & development
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A behavior disorder originating in childhood in which the essential features are signs of developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Although most individuals have symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, one or the other pattern may be predominant. The disorder is more frequent in males than females. Onset is in childhood. Symptoms often attenuate during late adolescence although a minority experience the full complement of symptoms into mid-adulthood. (From DSM-IV)
An acquired organic mental disorder with loss of intellectual abilities of sufficient severity to interfere with social or occupational functioning. The dysfunction is multifaceted and involves memory, behavior, personality, judgment, attention, spatial relations, language, abstract thought, and other executive functions. The intellectual decline is usually progressive, and initially spares the level of consciousness.
The d-form of AMPHETAMINE. It is a central nervous system stimulant and a sympathomimetic. It has also been used in the treatment of narcolepsy and of attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity in children. Dextroamphetamine has multiple mechanisms of action including blocking uptake of adrenergics and dopamine, stimulating release of monamines, and inhibiting monoamine oxidase. It is also a drug of abuse and a psychotomimetic.
A set of cognitive functions that controls complex, goal-directed thought and behavior. Executive function involves multiple domains, such as CONCEPT FORMATION, goal management, cognitive flexibility, INHIBITION control, and WORKING MEMORY. Impaired executive function is seen in a range of disorders, e.g., SCHIZOPHRENIA; and ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
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