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This study integrated an experimental medicine approach and a randomized cross-over clinical trial design following CONSORT recommendations to evaluate a cognitive training (CT) intervention for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The experimental medicine approach was adopted because of documented pathophysiological heterogeneity within the diagnosis of ADHD. The cross-over design was adopted to provide the intervention for all participants and make maximum use of data.
Children (n = 93, mean age 7.3 +/− 1.1 years) with or sub-threshold for ADHD were randomly assigned to CT exercises over 15 weeks, before or after 15 weeks of treatment-as-usual (TAU). Fifteen dropped out of the CT/TAU group and 12 out of the TAU/CT group, leaving 66 for cross-over analysis. Seven in the CT/TAU group completed CT before dropping out making 73 available for experimental medicine analyses. Attention, response inhibition, and working memory were assessed before and after CT and TAU.
Children were more likely to improve with CT than TAU (27/66 v. 13/66, McNemar p = 0.02). Consistent with the experimental medicine hypotheses, responders improved on all tests of executive function (p = 0.009–0.01) while non-responders improved on none (p = 0.27–0.81). The degree of clinical improvement was predicted by baseline and change scores in focused attention and working memory (p = 0.008). The response rate was higher in inattentive and combined subtypes than hyperactive-impulsive subtype (p = 0.003).
Targeting cognitive dysfunction decreases clinical symptoms in proportion to improvement in cognition. Inattentive and combined subtypes were more likely to respond, consistent with targeted pathology and clinically relevant heterogeneity within ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable and is associated with lower educational attainment. ADHD is linked to family adversity, including hostile parenting. Questions remain regarding the role of genetic and environmental factors underlying processes through which ADHD symptoms develop and influence academic attainment.
This study employed a parent-offspring adoption design (N = 345) to examine the interplay between genetic susceptibility to child attention problems (birth mother ADHD symptoms) and adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility on child lower academic outcomes, via child ADHD symptoms. Questionnaires assessed birth mother ADHD symptoms, adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility to child, early child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The Woodcock–Johnson test was used to examine child reading and math aptitude.
Building on a previous study (Harold et al., 2013, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(10), 1038–1046), heritable influences were found: birth mother ADHD symptoms predicted child impulsivity/activation. In turn, child impulsivity/activation (4.5 years) evoked maternal and paternal hostility, which was associated with children's ADHD continuity (6 years). Both maternal and paternal hostility (4.5 years) contributed to impairments in math but not reading (7 years), via impacts on ADHD symptoms (6 years).
Findings highlight the importance of early child behavior dysregulation evoking parent hostility in both mothers and fathers, with maternal and paternal hostility contributing to the continuation of ADHD symptoms and lower levels of later math ability. Early interventions may be important for the promotion of child math skills in those with ADHD symptoms, especially where children have high levels of early behavior dysregulation.
If a body enters a viscous-inviscid fluid layer near a wall, then significant effects can be felt from the presence of incident vorticity, viscous forces and nonlinear forces. The focus here is on the response in the outer edge of such a wall layer. Nonlinear two-dimensional unsteady behaviour is examined through modelling, computation and analysis applied for a thin body travelling streamwise upstream or downstream or staying still relative to the wall. The wall layer with its balance between inviscid and viscous effects interacts freely with the body movement, causing relatively high magnitudes of pressure on top of the body and nonlinear responses in the gap between the body and the wall. The study finds explicit solutions for the motion of the body, separation of the flow arising near the wall and possible instabilities occurring over the length scale of any short body.
Increasing weed control costs and limited herbicide options threaten vegetable crop profitability. Traditional interrow mechanical cultivation is very effective at removing weeds between crop rows. However, weed control within the crop rows is necessary to establish the crop and prevent yield loss. Currently, many vegetable crops require hand weeding to remove weeds within the row that remain after traditional cultivation and herbicide use. Intelligent cultivators have come into commercial use to remove intrarow weeds and reduce cost of hand weeding. Intelligent cultivators currently on the market such as the Robovator, use pattern recognition to detect the crop row. These cultivators do not differentiate crops and weeds and do not work well among high weed populations. One approach to differentiate weeds is to place a machine-detectable mark or signal on the crop (i.e., the crop has the mark and the weed does not), thereby facilitating weed/crop differentiation. Lettuce and tomato plants were marked with labels and topical markers, then cultivated with an intelligent cultivator programmed to identify the markers. Results from field trials in marked tomato and lettuce found that the intelligent cultivator removed 90% more weeds from tomato and 66% more weeds from lettuce than standard cultivators without reducing yields. Accurate crop and weed differentiation described here resulted in a 45% to 48% reduction in hand-weeding time per hectare.