Behavior in Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and in Healthy Volunteers

2014-08-27 03:56:32 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to determine how the brain controls motor activity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The inability to control one's behavior is an important symptom of many psychiatric illnesses. The stop signal paradigm which involves withholding a motor response to a go signal, has proved useful in assessing uncontrolled behavior in children with ADHD and other disorders. This study will use a stop signal paradigm in order to evaluate the ability of children with and without ADHD to control their motor behavior. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be used to study how the brain works during specific activities.

This study will evaluate the stop signal paradigm in three groups of people: healthy children, children with ADHD, and healthy adults. This study comprises two sub-studies: a behavioral study in which participants perform simple activities and an MRI study.

Participants will be asked to stop any over-the-counter medication 5 days before entering the behavioral or MRI study. Children with ADHD will be asked to stop taking medication for ADHD 72 hours before the study. All participants will have a medical history and a psychiatric evaluation (for children, both parents and children provide information for the assessment). Participants in the MRI study will also have physical examinations and blood and urine tests. All children will undergo intelligence tests; and those with ADHD will have tests to confirm the diagnosis. The parents of child participants will complete an autism screening questionnaire.



The inability to exert appropriate inhibitory control over one's behavior is an important symptom of many psychiatric illnesses. The stop signal paradigm, which involves withholding a prepotent motor response to a signal, has proved useful in assessing this deficit in children with a range of disorders, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In order to adapt the paradigm for use in fMRI studies, it is important to address two methodological issues: 1) the substitution of a visual stop signal for the more commonly-employed auditory stop signal, and 2) the fact that, on the traditional stop task (in which the subject withholds a motor response to the stop signal), correct trials do not involve a motor response whereas incorrect trials do. The latter problem can be addressed using the stop-change task (in which the subject executes alternative motor responses to the stop and go signals). The first aim of this protocol is to compare behavioral data from the stop and stop-change tasks in control adults, control children, and children with ADHD. These data will be used to test the hypotheses that, on each of these paradigms, children with ADHD will show an inhibitory deficit compared to control children, and control children will show an inhibitory deficit compared to control adults. The second aim of the protocol is to conduct a pilot fMRI study of the stop and stop-change tasks in control adults. The study has an event-related design and will test the hypotheses that ventral prefrontal activation will be greater during successful than unsuccessful stop (or stop-change) trials, and that stop and stop-change trials will be associated with more anterior cingulate and right inferior frontal activation than will go trials.

Study Design



Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
United States




National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:56:32-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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)

A propylamine derivative and selective ADRENERGIC UPTAKE INHIBITOR that is used in the treatment of ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER.


A dextroamphetamine drug precursor that also functions as a CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM STIMULANT and DOPAMINE UPTAKE INHIBITOR and is used in the treatment of ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER.

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.

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