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Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (aADHD) is still a largely unrecognized psychiatric condition despite its strong impact on individuals’ well-being. Here, we describe the healthcare situation of individuals with incident aADHD over 4 years before and 4 years after initial administrative diagnosis.
A retrospective, longitudinal cohort analysis was conducted using German claims data. The InGef database contained approximately 5 million member-records from over 60 nationwide statutory health insurances (SHI). Individuals were indexed upon initial diagnosis of aADHD.
Average age at diagnosis of aADHD was 35 years, and 60% of individuals were male. Comorbidities, resource use, and healthcare costs were substantial before initial diagnosis and decreased within the 4 years thereafter. Only 32% of individuals received initial ADHD medication and adherence was low. The majority received psychotherapy. Individuals with initial ADHD medication showed the highest share in comorbidities, physician visits, medication use for comorbidities, psychotherapy, and costs. Overall, healthcare costs were at over €4,000 per individual within the year of aADHD diagnosis.
We conclude that earlier recognition of aADHD could prevent the development and aggravation of comorbid mental illnesses. At the same time, comorbid conditions may have masked (“over-shadowed”) aADHD and delayed diagnosis. The burden of disease in aADHD is high, which was noticeable especially among individuals who received initial ADHD-medication, suggesting that psychopharmacological treatment was mainly considered for the most severely ill. We conclude that measures to facilitate access of aADHD patients to clinical experts are required to improve reality of care in the outpatient setting.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are believed to share partially overlapping causal mechanisms suggesting that early risk markers may also overlap. Using latent profile analysis (LPA) in a sample of infants enriched for ASD and ADHD, we first examined the number of distinct groups of 3-year-old children, based on ADHD and ASD symptomatology. To investigate early predictors of ASD and ADHD symptom profiles, we next examined differences in trajectories of infant behaviors among the LPA classes spanning general development, negative affect, attention, activity level, impulsivity, and social behavior. Participants included 166 infants at familial risk for ASD (n = 89), ADHD (n = 38), or low-risk for both (n = 39) evaluated at 12, 18, 24, and 36 months of age. A three-class solution was selected reflecting a Typically Developing (TD) class (low symptoms; n = 108), an ADHD class (high ADHD/low ASD symptoms; n = 39), and an ASD class (high ASD/ADHD symptoms; n = 19). Trajectories of infant behaviors were generally suggestive of a gradient pattern of differences, with the greatest impairment within the ASD class followed by the ADHD class. These findings indicate a mixture of overlapping and distinct early markers of preschool ASD- and ADHD-like profiles that can be difficult to disentangle early in life.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are child-onset neurodevelopmental disorders frequently accompanied by cognitive difficulties. In the current study, we aim to examine the genetic overlap between ADHD and ASD and cognitive measures of working memory (WM) and attention performance among schoolchildren using a polygenic risk approach.
A total of 1667 children from a population-based cohort aged 7–11 years with data available on genetics and cognition were included in the analyses. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were calculated for ADHD and ASD using results from the largest GWAS to date (N = 55 374 and N = 46 351, respectively). The cognitive outcomes included verbal and numerical WM and the standard error of hit reaction time (HRTSE) as a measure of attention performance. These outcomes were repeatedly assessed over 1-year period using computerized version of the Attention Network Test and n-back task. Associations were estimated using linear mixed-effects models.
Higher polygenic risk for ADHD was associated with lower WM performance at baseline time but not over time. These findings remained significant after adjusting by multiple testing and excluding individuals with an ADHD diagnosis but were limited to boys. PRS for ASD was only nominally associated with an increased improvement on verbal WM over time, although this association did not survive multiple testing correction. No associations were observed for HRTSE.
Common genetic variants related to ADHD may contribute to worse WM performance among schoolchildren from the general population but not to the subsequent cognitive-developmental trajectory assessed over 1-year period.
Impulsivity and compulsivity are the defining features of various psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and behavioral and substance addictions. Once thought to be diametrically opposed, compulsivity and impulsivity are increasingly recognized as orthogonal symptom dimensions that are linked by shared neurobiological mechanisms. This chapter selectively reviews impulsivity and compulsivity from a transdiagnostic perspective. It begins by discussing the neurobiology of impulsivity and compulsivity and the relationship of these constructs to addictive disorders. The chapter then discusses the clinical features of specific compulsive and impulsive disorders (as well as gambling disorder, a putative behavioral addiction), with a focus on comorbidity and treatment. The complex interrelationships among compulsive, impulsive, and addictive disorders have implications for how these disorders are assessed and treated.
It is important to understand the differential impact of individual difference characteristics on psychopathology. Sex and gender constructs are individual difference variables that are crucial in fully understanding mental illnesses. In this chapter, we consider international perspectives on sex and gender in psychopathology. Unfortunately, our knowledge of sex and gender in psychopathology is limited by several factors, including conflated terminology, sex- and gender-neutral research, and various biases; all of which are discussed herein. Furthermore, our knowledge related to the intersection of nationality and sex and gender on psychopathology is limited. Nonetheless, we discuss what is known and what remains unknown about sex and gender in five major psychopathology categories: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Eating Disorders, Major Depressive Disorder, and Substance Use Disorders.
UK clinical guidelines recommend treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults by suitably qualified clinical teams. However, young people with ADHD attempting the transition from children's to adults’ services experience considerable difficulties in accessing care.
To map the mental health services in the UK for adults who have ADHD and compare the reports of key stakeholders (people with ADHD and their carers, health workers, service commissioners).
A survey about the existence and extent of service provision for adults with ADHD was distributed online and via national organisations (e.g. Royal College of Psychiatrists, the ADHD Foundation). Freedom of information requests were sent to commissioners. Descriptive analysis was used to compare reports from the different stakeholders.
A total of 294 unique services were identified by 2686 respondents. Of these, 44 (15%) were dedicated adult ADHD services and 99 (34%) were generic adult mental health services. Only 12 dedicated services (27%) provided the full range of treatments recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Only half of the dedicated services (55%) and a minority of other services (7%) were reported by all stakeholder groups (P < 0.001, Fisher's exact test).
There is geographical variation in the provision of NHS services for adults with ADHD across the UK, as well as limited availability of treatments in the available services. Differences between stakeholder reports raise questions about equitable access. With increasing numbers of young people with ADHD graduating from children's services, developing evidence-based accessible models of care for adults with ADHD remains an urgent policy and commissioning priority.
Little is known about the relationship between autistic traits and addictive behaviors such as problem gambling. Thus, the present study examined clinical characteristics and multiple facets of cognition in young adults who gamble and have autistic traits.
A total of 102 young adults who gamble were recruited from two Mid-Western university communities in the United States using media advertisements. Autistic traits were examined using the brief Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10). Clinician rating scales, questionnaires, and cognitive tests were completed. Relationships between AQ10 scores and demographic, gambling symptom, and neurocognitive measures were evaluated.
Autistic traits were correlated with disordered gambling symptoms, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, trait impulsivity, and some types of obsessive–compulsive symptoms. In regression, ADHD no longer significantly related to autistic traits once disordered gambling symptoms were accounted for; whereas the link between autistic traits and disordered gambling symptoms was robust even controlling for ADHD.
These data suggest a particularly strong relationship between autistic traits and problem gambling symptoms, as well as certain aspects of impulsivity and compulsivity. The link between ADHD and autistic traits in some prior studies may have been attributable to disordered gambling symptoms, which was likely not screened for, and since individuals may endorse ADHD instruments due to other impulsive/compulsive symptom types (eg, gambling). The contribution of autistic traits to the emergence and chronicity of disordered gambling now requires further scrutiny, not only in community samples (such as this) but also in clinical settings.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often persists into adolescence and adulthood, but the processes underlying persistence and remission remain poorly understood. We previously found that reaction time variability and event-related potentials of preparation-vigilance processes were impaired in ADHD persisters and represented markers of remission, as ADHD remitters were indistinguishable from controls but differed from persisters. Here, we aimed to further clarify the nature of the cognitive-neurophysiological impairments in ADHD and of markers of remission by examining the finer-grained ex-Gaussian reaction-time distribution and electroencephalographic (EEG) brain-oscillatory measures in ADHD persisters, remitters and controls.
A total of 110 adolescents and young adults with childhood ADHD (87 persisters, 23 remitters) and 169 age-matched controls were compared on ex-Gaussian (mu, sigma, tau) indices and time-frequency EEG measures of power and phase consistency from a reaction-time task with slow-unrewarded baseline and fast-incentive conditions (‘Fast task’).
Compared to controls, ADHD persisters showed significantly greater mu, sigma, tau, and lower theta power and phase consistency across conditions. Relative to ADHD persisters, remitters showed significantly lower tau and theta power and phase consistency across conditions, as well as lower mu in the fast-incentive condition, with no difference in the baseline condition. Remitters did not significantly differ from controls on any measure.
We found widespread impairments in ADHD persisters in reaction-time distribution and brain-oscillatory measures. Event-related theta power, theta phase consistency and tau across conditions, as well as mu in the more engaging fast-incentive condition, emerged as novel markers of ADHD remission, potentially representing compensatory mechanisms in individuals with remitted ADHD.
We investigated whether adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show pseudoneglect—preferential allocation of attention to the left visual field (LVF) and a resulting slowing of mean reaction times (MRTs) in the right visual field (RVF), characteristic of neurotypical (NT) individuals —and whether lateralization of attention is modulated by presentation speed and incentives.
Fast Task, a four-choice reaction-time task where stimuli were presented in LVF or RVF, was used to investigate differences in MRT and reaction time variability (RTV) in adults with ADHD (n = 43) and NT adults (n = 46) between a slow/no-incentive and fast/incentive condition. In the lateralization analyses, pseudoneglect was assessed based on MRT, which was calculated separately for the LVF and RVF for each condition and each study participant.
Adults with ADHD had overall slower MRT and increased RTV relative to NT. MRT and RTV improved under the fast/incentive condition. Both groups showed RVF-slowing with no between-group or between-conditions differences in RVF-slowing.
Adults with ADHD exhibited pseudoneglect, a NT pattern of lateralization of attention, which was not attenuated by presentation speed and incentives.
Both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and insomnia have been independently related to poorer quality of life (QoL), productivity loss, and increased health care use, although most previous studies did not take the many possible comorbidities into account. Moreover, ADHD and insomnia often co-occur. Symptoms of ADHD and insomnia together may have even stronger negative effects than they do separately. We investigated the combined effects of symptoms of ADHD and insomnia, in addition to their independent effects, on QoL, productivity, and health care use, thereby controlling for a wide range of possible comorbidities and confounders.
Data from the third wave of the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2 were used, involving N = 4618 from the general population. Both the inattention and the hyperactivity ADHD symptom dimensions were studied, assessed by the ASRS Screener.
Mental functioning and productivity were negatively associated with the co-occurrence of ADHD and insomnia symptoms, even after adjusting for comorbidity and confounders. The results show no indication of differences between inattention and hyperactivity. Poorer physical functioning and health care use were not directly influenced by the interaction between ADHD and insomnia.
People with both ADHD and sleep problems have increased risk for poorer mental functioning and productivity loss. These results underscore the importance of screening for sleep problems when ADHD symptoms are present, and vice versa, and to target both disorders during treatment.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with self-harm during adolescence and young adulthood, especially among females. Yet little is known about the developmental trajectories or childhood predictors/moderators of self-harm in women with and without childhood histories of ADHD. We characterized lifetime risk for nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidal ideation (SI), and suicide attempts (SA), comparing female participants with (n = 140) and without (n = 88) childhood ADHD. We examined theory-informed childhood predictors and moderators of lifetime risk via baseline measures from childhood. First, regarding developmental patterns, most females with positive histories of lifetime self-harm engaged in such behaviors in adolescence yet desisted by adulthood. Females with positive histories of self-harm by late adolescence emanated largely from the ADHD-C group. Second, we found that predictors of NSSI were early externalizing symptoms, overall executive functioning, and father's negative parenting; predictors of SI were adverse childhood experiences and low self-esteem; and predictors of SA were early externalizing symptoms, adverse childhood experiences, and low self-esteem. Third, receiver operating characteristics analyses helped to ascertain interactive sets of predictors. Findings indicate that pathways to self-harm are multifaceted for females with ADHD. Understanding early childhood predictors and moderators of self-harm can inform both risk assessment and intervention strategies.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a persistent, pervasive disorder characterised by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Although traditionally considered a disorder of childhood, symptoms and associated impairments persist into adulthood for a significant proportion of individuals. Untreated ADHD can have a number of adverse effects for both the individual and wider society. Despite this, ADHD in adults is often misdiagnosed or its diagnosis is ‘missed’ in general psychiatric settings and this article highlights some reasons for this.
Emerging research suggests that maternal immune activation (MIA) may be associated with an increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental and mental health outcomes in offspring. Using data from the Raine Study, we investigated whether MIA during pregnancy was associated with increased behavioral and emotional problems in offspring longitudinally across development.
Mothers (Generation 1; N = 1905) were classified into the following categories: AAAE (Asthma/Allergy/Atopy/Eczema; N = 1267); infection (during pregnancy; N = 1082); no AAAE or infection (N = 301). The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was administered for offspring at ages 5, 8, 10, 14, and 17. Generalized estimating equations were used to investigate the effect of maternal immune status on CBCL scores.
AAAE conditions were associated with significant increases in CBCL Total (β 2.49; CI 1.98–3.00), Externalizing (β 1.54; CI 1.05–2.03), and Internalizing (β 2.28; CI 1.80–2.76) scores. Infection conditions were also associated with increased Total (β 1.27; CI 0.77–1.78), Externalizing (β 1.18; CI 0.70–1.66), and Internalizing (β 0.76; CI 0.28–1.24) scores. Exposure to more than one AAAE and/or infection condition was associated with a greater elevation in CBCL scores than single exposures in males and females. Females showed greater increases on the Internalizing scale from MIA, while males showed similar increases on both Internalizing and Externalizing scales.
MIA was associated with increased behavioral and emotional problems in offspring throughout childhood and adolescence. This highlights the need to understand the relationship between MIA, fetal development, and long-term outcomes, with the potential to advance early identification and intervention strategies.
Replicated evidence indicates that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show disproportionate increases in hyperactivity/physical movement when their underdeveloped executive functions are taxed. However, our understanding of hyperactivity’s relation with set shifting is limited, which is surprising given set shifting’s importance as the third core executive function alongside working memory and inhibition. The aim of this study was to experimentally examine the effect of imposing set shifting and inhibition demands on objectively measured activity level in children with and without ADHD.
The current study used a validated experimental manipulation to differentially evoke set shifting, inhibition, and general cognitive demands in a carefully phenotyped sample of children aged 8–13 years with ADHD (n = 43) and without ADHD (n = 34). Activity level was sampled during each task using multiple, high-precision actigraphs; total hyperactivity scores (THS) were calculated.
Results of the 2 × 5 Bayesian ANOVA for hyperactivity revealed strong support for a main effect of task (BF10 = 1.79 × 1018, p < .001, ω2 = .20), such that children upregulated their physical movement in response to general cognitive demands and set shifting demands specifically, but not in response to increased inhibition demands. Importantly, however, this manipulation did not disproportionally increase hyperactivity in ADHD as demonstrated by significant evidence against the task × group interaction (BF01 = 18.21, p = .48, ω2 = .002).
Inhibition demands do not cause children to upregulate their physical activity. Set shifting produces reliable increases in children’s physical movement/hyperactivity over and above the effects of general cognitive demands but cannot specifically explain hyperactivity in children with ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the commonest disorder presenting to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Ireland. This article considers the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the provision of mental health services for young people with ADHD with specific reference to the difficulties that have been experienced in ADMiRE, a specialist ADHD service in Dublin, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland. Current guidelines and alternative ways of ensuring adequate service provision are discussed. Restrictions to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 are likely to continue for many months, and child and adolescent mental health services need to find new ways to provide a sustainable service to young people in Ireland. There is a growing evidence base for the use of telepsychiatry in the assessment and management of ADHD. Factors that should be considered when developing a telepsychiatry service for children and adolescents with ADHD are highlighted.
Institutional deprivation in early childhood is associated with neuropsychological deficits in adolescence. Using 20-year follow-up data from a unique natural experiment – the large-scale adoption of children exposed to extreme deprivation in Romanian institutions in the 1980s –we examined, for the first time, whether such deficits are still present in adulthood and whether they are associated with deprivation-related symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Adult neuropsychological functioning was assessed across five domains (inhibitory control, emotion recognition, decision-making, prospective memory and IQ) in 70 previously institutionalized adoptees (mean age = 25.3, 50% female) and 22 non-deprived UK adoptees (comparison group, mean age = 24.6, 41% female). ADHD and ASD symptoms were assessed using parent-completed questionnaires.
Early institutionalization was associated with impaired performance on all tasks in adulthood. Prospective memory deficits persisted after controlling for IQ. ADHD and ASD symptoms were positively correlated. After controlling for ASD symptoms, ADHD symptoms remained associated with deficits in IQ, prospective memory, proactive inhibition, decision-making quality and emotion recognition. ASD symptoms were not independently associated with neuropsychological deficits when accounting for their overlap with ADHD symptoms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the link between childhood deprivation and adult ADHD symptoms was statistically explained by deprivation-related differences in adult IQ and prospective memory.
These results represent some of the most compelling evidence to date of the enduring power of early, time-limited childhood adversity to impair long-term neuropsychological functioning across the lifespan – effects that are linked specifically to deprivation-related adult ADHD symptoms.
Drawing on data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, Price et al reported UK regional variations in primary care prescribing and referral rates to adult mental health services for young people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in transition from child and adolescent mental health services. Overall, considering that around 65% of young adults with childhood ADHD present with impairing ADHD symptoms and up to 90% of individuals with ADHD may benefit from ADHD medications, the study by Price et al shows that the rate of appropriate treatment for youngsters in the transition period varies from low to very low across the UK. As such, there is a continuous need for education and training for patients, their families, mental health professionals and commissioners, to eradicate the misconception that, in the majority of the cases, ADHD remits during adolescence and to support the devolvement of appropriate services for the evidence-based management of adult ADHD across the UK.
We evaluated processing-speed and shift-cost measures in adults with depression or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and monitored the effects of treatment. We hypothesised that cognitive-speed and shift-cost measures might differentiate diagnostic groups.
Colour, form, and colour–form stimuli were used to measure naming times. The shift costs were calculated as colour–form-naming time minus the sum of colour- and form-naming times. Measurements were done at baseline and end point for 42 adults with depression and 42 with ADHD without depression. Patients with depression were treated with transcranial pulsed electromagnetic fields and patients with ADHD with methylphenidate immediate release.
During depression treatment, reductions in naming times were recorded weekly. One-way analysis of variance indicated statistical between-group differences, with effect sizes in the medium range for form and colour–form. In both groups, naming times were longer before than after treatment. For the ADHD group, shift costs exceeded the average–normal range at baseline but were in the average–normal range after stabilisation with stimulant medication. For the depression group, shift costs were in the average–normal range at baseline and after treatment. Baseline colour–form-naming times predicted reductions in naming times for both groups, with the largest effect size and index of forecasting efficiency for the ADHD group.
The cognitive-processing-speed (colour–form) and shift-cost measures before treatment proved most sensitive in differentiating patients with depression and ADHD. Reductions in naming times for the depression group were suggested to reflect improved psychomotor skills rather than improved cognitive control.
It is well-known that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with changes in the dopaminergic system. However, the relationship between central dopaminergic tone and the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during receipt of rewards and penalties in the corticostriatal pathway in adults with ADHD is unclear.
Single-photon emission computed tomography with [99mTC]TRODAT-1 was used to assess striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted on subjects performing the Iowa Gambling Test.
DAT availability was found to be associated with the BOLD response, which was a covariate of monetary loss, in the medial prefrontal cortex (r = 0.55, P = .03), right ventral striatum (r = 0.69, P = .003), and right orbital frontal cortex (r = 0.53, P = .03) in adults with ADHD. However, a similar correlation was not found in the controls.
The results confirmed that dopaminergic tone may play a different role in the penalty-elicited response of adults with ADHD. It is plausible that a lower neuro-threshold accompanied by insensitivity to punishment could be exacerbated by the hypodopaminergic tone in ADHD.
Current study aimed to assess the possibility of prediction of continuous performance test in primary school children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with parents and teacher reports of inattention, hyperactivity and oppositional behavior.
Fifteen school aged children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder without co-morbid psychiatric disorders were selected from Roozbeh child and adolescent psychiatry clinic. Teachers and parent Conner's questionnaires, Continuous Performance Test and 4 class dictation scores were registered from each subject.
Commission errors were correlated with hyperactivity scale in the parent report (r=-0.50, p< 0.05), and with ADHD score (r=-0.49, p< 0.05). Omission error was correlated with inattention (r=0.66, p< 0.05) and ADHD score (r=0.51, p< 0.05) on teachers report. Reaction time was correlated with oppositional (r=0.51, p< 0.05) subscale in parents Conner's questionnaire. Dictation scores were correlated with inattention on parents report (r=-0.52, p< 0.05) and omission on Continuous Performance Test (r=-0.79, p< 0.05).
Current study reported a significant correlation between neuropsychological tests and questionnaires, in ADHD.