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Impulsive aggressive (IA, or impulsive aggression) behavior describes an aggregate set of maladaptive, aggressive behaviors occurring across multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. IA is reactive, eruptive, sudden, and unplanned; it provides information about the severity, but not the nature, of its associated primary disorder. IA in children and adolescents is of serious clinical concern for patients, families, and physicians, given the detrimental impact pediatric IA can have on development. Currently, the ability to properly identify, monitor, and treat IA behavior across clinical populations is hindered by two major roadblocks: (1) the lack of an assessment tool designed for and sensitive to the set of behaviors comprising IA, and (2) the absence of a treatment indicated for IA symptomatology. In this review, we discuss the clinical gaps in the approach to monitoring and treating IA behavior, and highlight emerging solutions that may improve clinical outcomes in patients with IA.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Deficits in reward-based learning have been shown in youth at risk for developing substance use disorders (SUD). Here, we investigated whether computational models can be used to more precisely delineate the additive effects of such risk loading (i.e., the comparison between youth with ADHD, and those with ADHD and familial SUD) on reward-based learning in youth. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 41 drug-naïve youth, stratified into 3 groups based on ADHD diagnosis and parental SUD: healthy controls (HC, n=13; neither ADHD nor parental SUD), low risk (LR, n=13; ADHD only), and high risk (HR, n=15; both ADHD and parental SUD), performed a reward task. Learning rates, prediction and congruence t-scores were computed using a reinforcement learning model and analyzed via a multivariate ANOVA. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The analyses showed a significant linear effect in task accuracy, which decreased with increasing risk profiles. Analyses of the model-derived variables also showed similar significant linear effects in learning rates and the congruence t-score, but not in the prediction t-score. These effects were primarily driven by significantly higher learning rate and congruence t-score in HC compared with HR youth. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results show most profound deficits in reward-learning in HR youth. These findings also show that computational analyses can offer added value over conventional behavioral analyses by more precisely evaluating group differences in relation to SUD risk.
Evening-dosed DR/ER-MPH (formerly HLD200), a delayed-release and extended-release methylphenidate, was designed to provide efficacy upon awakening and through the evening. The objective was to evaluate whether treatment with DR/ER-MPH in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): (1) improves caregiver-rated ADHD symptoms, and (2) reduces caregiver strain, versus placebo.
Caregiver-rated ADHD symptoms (Conners’ Global Index–Parent [CGI-P]) and caregiver strain (Caregiver Strain Questionnaire [CGSQ]) were assessed as secondary endpoints following 3 weeks of treatment in a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 3 trial of DR/ER-MPH in children (6-12 years) with ADHD (NCT02520388). Using the 10-item CGI-P, parents rated their child’s ADHD symptoms on a 4-point scale (0=never/seldom; 3=very often/frequently). Caregivers also rated the impact of caring for a child with emotional and behavioral challenges on the 21-item CGSQ (5-point scale: 1=not at all; 5=very much). A reduction on individual item and total scores for both measures indicated an improvement.
Of 163 children enrolled across 22 sites, 161 were included in the intent-to-treat population (DR/ER-MPH, n=81; placebo, n=80) and 138 completed the study. The mean DR/ER-MPH dose after 3 weeks of treatment was 68.1 mg. Mean CGI-P scores at baseline and CGSQ scores at screening (ie, before washout of prior ADHD therapy) were comparable for both DR/ER-MPH (CGI-P: 22.8, CGSQ: 54.5) and placebo (CGI-P: 21.8; CGSQ: 54.9) groups. After 3 weeks of treatment, caregivers of children onDR/ER-MPH reported significant reductions in CGI-P scores versus those on placebo (least-squares [LS] mean: 12.3 vs 17.4; P<0.001). Additionally, there was a significant reduction in CGSQ scores after 3 weeks of treatment with DR/ER-MPH versus placebo (LS mean: 41.2 vs 49.1; P<0.001). Post hoc analyses on the effect of DR/ER-MPHversus placebo on individual items of CGI-P and CGSQ, and the two subscales of CGI-P will be presented. No serious TEAEs were reported and all TEAEs were consistent with those of MPH.
Caregivers reported significant improvements in their child’s ADHD symptoms and these improvements coincided with reductions in caregiver strain after 3 weeks of treatment on evening-dosed DR/ER-MPH versus placebo.
In a phase 3 trial of children with ADHD, DR/ER-MPH (formerly HLD200), a delayed-release and extended-release methylphenidate, improved ADHD symptoms and reduced at-home early morning and late afternoon/evening functional impairments versus placebo, as measured by the validated Parent Rating of Evening andMorning Behaviors-Revised, Morning (PREMB-R AM) and Evening (PREMB-R PM) subscales. This post hoc analysis evaluated the effect of DR/ER-MPH versus placebo onindividual PREMB-R AM/PM item scores.
Data were analyzed from a pivotal, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 3 trial of DR/ER-MPH in children (6-12 years) withADHD (NCT02520388). Using the 3-item PREMB-R AM and 8-item PREMB-R PM, both key secondary endpoints, investigators evaluated early morning and lateafternoon/evening functional impairment by scoring each item on a severity scale from 0 (none) to 3 (a lot). For post hoc analyses, treatment comparisons between DR/ER-MPH and placebo at endpoint were determined by using least squares mean changes from baseline on individual PREMB-R AM/PM items score derived from an analysis ofcovariance (ANCOVA) model with treatment as the main effect, and study center and baseline score as covariates.
Of 163 children enrolled across 22 sites, 161 were included in the intent-to-treat population (DR/ER-MPH, n=81; placebo, n=80) and 138 completed the study. The mean DR/ER-MPH dose achieved after 3 weeks of treatment was 68.1 mg. Following 3 weeks of treatment, DR/ER-MPH significantly reduced mean individual item scores from baseline versus placebo on all PREMB-R AM items (all P≤0.002; “getting out of bed”, “getting ready”, and “arguing or struggling in the morning”). Additionally, DR/ER-MPH significantly reduced mean individual item scores from baseline on 5 out of 8 PREMB-R PM items (P<0.01 in 2 items [“sitting through dinner” and “playing quietly”] and P<0.05 in 3 items [“inattentive/distractible”, “transitioning between activities”, and “settling down/getting ready for bed”]). There was a trend towards a reduction on 2 other items of the PREMB-R PM (P<0.09). Distributions of the ratings for each item will be presented. No serious TEAEs were reported; TEAEs were consistent withmethylphenidate.
Post hoc analyses revealed that DR/ER-MPH significantly reduced all PREMB-R AM item scores, including “getting out of bed”, and many PREMB-R PM items, including “getting ready for bed” in children with ADHD. These findings are worth further exploration.
In a phase 3 trial of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), DR/ER-MPH (formerly HLD200), a delayed-release and extended-release methylphenidate, improved ADHD symptoms and reduced at-home early morning and late afternoon/evening functional impairment versus placebo. The validated Before School Functioning Questionnaire (BSFQ), a key secondary endpoint, was used to measure early morning functional (EMF) impairment. This post hoc analysis evaluated the effect of DR/ER-MPH versus placebo on individual BSFQ item scores from baseline.
Data were analyzed from a pivotal, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 3 trial of DR/ER-MPH in children (6-12 years) withADHD (NCT02520388). Using the 20-item BSFQ, investigators evaluated EMF impairment by scoring each item on a severity scale of 0 to 3, with 0 denoting “no impairment” and 3 denoting “severe impairment”. For post hoc analyses, treatment comparisons between DR/ER-MPH and placebo at endpoint were determined by using least squares mean changes from baseline on individual BSFQ items score derived from an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) model with treatment as the main effect, and study center and baseline score as covariates.
Of 163 children enrolled across 22 sites, 161 were included in the intent-to-treat population (DR/ER-MPH, n=81; placebo, n=80) and 138 completed the study. The mean DR/ER-MPH dose achieved after 3 weeks of treatment was 68.1 mg. Following 3 weeks of treatment, DR/ER-MPH significantly reduced mean BSFQ item scores frombaseline on 18 out of 20 items versus placebo (P<0.001 in 8 items [listening, following directions, attention, forgetfulness, talkativeness, silliness, time awareness, getting to school]; P<0.01 in 7 items [overall organization, being quiet, distraction, interrupt/blurt out, breakfast, hygiene, independence]; P<0.05 in 3 items [procrastination, hyperactivity, awaiting turn]). Only “dressing” and “misplacing/losing items” showed no significant between-group differences (P=0.171 and P=0.175, respectively). Distributions of the severity ratings for each item will be presented. No serious TEAEs were reported; TEAEs were consistent with methylphenidate.
Post hoc analyses revealed that DR/ER-MPH significantly reduced 18 out of 20 individual BSFQ item scores versus placebo in children with ADHD. These findings are worth further exploration.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity that begins in childhood. While considerable research has focused on the neurobiological substrates of this disorder, the specific nature of the brain dysfunction in ADHD has remained elusive. However, early data from pharmacological treatment studies, as well as from basic research in animals and humans, initially led several investigators to develop neurobiological models of ADHD. These models of ADHD and more recent evidence from neuropsychological, neuroimaging, neurochemical, and genetic research are briefly reviewed. While not completely consistent, the empirical data suggest that dysfunction in prefrontal-striatal neural circuits, as well as in brain stem catecholamine systems that innervate these circuits, may underlie the executive function deficits in ADHD.
Behavioral patterns of addiction include compulsive drug-seeking, persistent abuse of substances despite the often dire consequences on social functioning and physical health, and the high probability of relapse even after prolonged drug-free periods.The recent focus on the biological basis of addiction has provided evidence to support the hypothesis that behavioral manifestations for addiction are influenced by biological factors, and biological factors often produce behavioral changes that can further increase risk. The current understanding of the role of the dopaminergic, glutamatergic, γ-aminobutyric acidergic, and opioid receptor systems in the pathophysiology of addiction as well as the clinical implications of these systems for new and emerging treatments will be discussed. This article will also review the pharmacologic agents used in the treatment of substance abuse disorders and presents evidence-based data for their safety, efficacy, and feasibility of use in different patient populations.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly co-morbid across the life span. However, co-morbidity is not uniform across time; individual co-morbid conditions tend to occur at different times developmentally, with rates often reflecting lifetime occurrence (Slide 1). In addition to changes in the rates of co-morbidity, the nature of co-morbidity may also differ in late adolescence/adulthood, when co-morbid conditions can be especially impairing (eg, antisocial disorder, substance use disorder [SUD], more severe mood disorders).
There are several important issues regarding the manner in which medications are tested prior to their release and monitored after approval that must be appreciated in considering issues related to cardiovascular safety of medication treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. First, patients treated in clinical trials are not necessarily representative of those seen in practice settings, as specific inclusion/exclusion criteria in studies limit a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social factors that could potentially introduce confounds related to the collection and/or interpretation of efficacy, tolerability, and safety data. However, many of these factors are present in patients treated in clinical practice. In addition, the manner in which medications are administered in clinical trials does not necessarily replicate the way they are used in the community. Often, there are differences in titration schemes and dosing options. Also, in clinical trials, drugs are rarely studied in combination, although they are often used in this manner in practice settings. Further, Phase III clinical trials (at least in psychiatry) often do not enroll a large enough sample to evaluate infrequently occurring adverse events. Rather, the predominance of information regarding rare side effects is derived from voluntary reports made after a drug comes to market—and therefore likely under-reports the phenomenon. Finally, information regarding drug safety that comes to practitioners in the form of medication warnings or advisories may reflect concerns that extend beyond the strict interpretation of clinical trials data. These and other issues represent major obstacles in attempting to fully understand issues related to safety and tolerability of medication in “real world” settings.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an impairing but usually treatable condition. Popular culture propagates the myth that ADHD recedes with age; this is not the case. Although it is common, <20% of adults with ADHD are diagnosed or treated. Adults with ADHD show significant comorbidities with depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, substance use, oppositional defiant disorder, personality disorders, sleep problems, and learning disabilities. However, symptoms that result from ADHD, such as mood symptoms or lability, are often mistaken for comorbid disorders. Comorbidity with ADHD impacts treatment compliance, treatment response, and patient insight. Insufficient data on the interaction between ADHD and comorbidities impedes proper diagnosis and treatment. Better clinical tools for assessing these conditions are needed. Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacologic treatments for adult ADHD include stimulants, dexmethylphenidate, and the nonstimulant atomoxetine. Effect sizes of approved medicines at approved doses are half those seen in children. Adults may also need longer duration of medication effects than children. Short-acting stimulants are likely to result in poorer adherence and have a higher risk for diversion or abuse. Risk of abuse is a major concern; stimulant treatments are controlled substances, and children with ADHD show increased risk of substance abuse. Psychosocial interventions may be beneficial in treating both ADHD and comorbidities.
In this expert roundtable supplement, Margaret Weiss, MD, PhD, presents a comprehensive overview of complications surrounding differential diagnosis in adults with ADHD. Next, Mark A. Stein, PhD, reviews evaluation, comorbidity, and development of a treatment plan in this population. Finally, Jeffrey H. Newcorn, MD, provides a discussion on the pharmacologic options available for adults with ADHD, considering dosages specific to adults and common comorbidities.
Although the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be found in many “normal” people, these symptoms are present to a greater extent in those affected by the disorder. In these patients, ADHD symptoms cause substantial functional impairment. Therefore, the goal of treatment is not simply to reduce core symptoms, but also to decrease the level of impairment caused by these symptoms.
Common impairments in adolescents and adults include academic and occupational problems that are particularly evident in the context of tasks requiring a high degree of organization or attentional function. These impairments result in problems related to task completion, prioritizing work and other obligations, and time management, etc. These symptoms often impact successful completion of tasks in school or at work, and can also result in a variety of problems in initiating and managing relationships (Slide 1).
Mood and anxiety disorders often co-occur with ADHD in adults. The accumulation of experiences related to impaired academic and/or occupational performance, and or persistent relationship problems, due to the symptoms of ADHD, can lead to either depressed mood or anxiety related to performance and/or social situations. Therefore, in treating adults with ADHD, reduction of those co-occurring symptom presentations is also an important goal.
Treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may positively impact the neurobiology of adult patients with ADHD. Treatment may also minimize impairment from core symptoms and may alter the course of co-morbid disorders such as depression and substance use disorder. However, much of the information on stimulant use in adult ADHD comes from studies conducted in children, and it remains unclear whether there is a difference between children and adults when it comes to the side effects and tolerability of ADHD treatments. It is known that clinical presentation differs between adults and children, with adults demonstrating a higher percentage of mood disorders. Current treatments for adult ADHD include psychosocial therapies and pharmacologic therapies, the latter of which include the stimulants d-methylphenidate extended release (XR), OROS methylphenidate, lisdexamfetamine, and mixed amphetamine salts XR; and the nonstimulant atomoxetine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. There is need for additional study of treatment strategies for adult ADHD. Although all classes of ADHD medications are approved in adults, there are fewer approved formulations for adults than for children. Efficacy in adults is more subjective than in children, which may affect how efficacy rates for adult treatments are calculated. Adults also present a greater diversion risk than children. In addition, there are several new and emerging medication treatments worth considering.
This Expert Roundtable Supplement represents part 2 of a 3-part supplement series on adult ADHD led by Lenard A. Adler, MD. In this activity, Thomas J. Spencer, MD, discusses the neurobiology and genetics of adult ADHD; Mark A. Stein, PhD, discusses stimulant therapy; and Jeffrey H. Newcorn, MD, reviews nonstimulants and psychosocial treatments
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be the most common chronic, undiagnosed psychiatric disorder in adults. ADHD is characterized by restlessness, overactivity, disorganization, impulsivity, and inattention; and as further characterized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). For most cases, an adult ADHD diagnosis is preceded by symptoms in childhood, which is a time when the disorder is rarely inquired about and usually overlooked.
ADHD has been recognized in children for several decades, and the importance of detection and treatment is well established. Whereas it was initially believed that children outgrew the disease, researchers now know that approximately two thirds of children affected with ADHD symptoms carry the condition into adolescence and then into adulthood. Consequently, >4% of adults in the United States have ADHD. Nevertheless, the disorder is unrecognized and untreated in the vast majority of these people.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that affects many domains of life. Studies have shown that adequate treatment of ADHD can affect the course of the disorder in a fundamental manner. While nonpharmacologic treatments such as education and various psycho-social interventions are used in the management of ADHD, pharmacotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for this disorder. Psychostimulants are the only group of agents that have been approved for the ADHD indication and are considered to be first-line treatment for the disorder. Methylphenidate, amphetamines, andpemoline are the most commonly used agents in this group. The stimulants have been successfully used for many years and their efficacy has been confirmed by a large number of clinical studies. Recent pharmacological advances have been made with longer-acting stimulants, new isomers, and more advanced drug delivery systems that enable more convenient dosing schedules with drug effects lasting throughout the day. Other nonstimulant medications have been shown to have anti-ADHD activity as well, although more research is needed on the efficacy and utility of these treatments. Antihypertensive medications and antidepressants, such as tricyclics and bupropion, have been studied and may have applications in the treatment of specific subgroups of patients with comorbid conditions or for patients who do not respond to stimulant treatment.
Objective: This study examines the impact of comorbidity of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with disruptive and anxiety disorders in childhood on clinical course and outcome. We consider the relative contribution of each comorbid symptom constellation, and also their interaction, to assess the following questions: (1) Does early comorbidity with conduct disorder (CD) and anxiety disorders define specific developmental trajectories?; (2) Is comorbid anxiety disorders in childhood continuous with anxiety disorders in adolescence?; (3) Does comorbid anxiety disorders mitigate the negative behavioral outcome of youth with ADHD?; and (4) Is there an interaction between comorbid CD and anxiety disorders, when they occur simultaneously, that predicts a different outcome than either comorbid condition alone?
Method: Thirty-two 15- to 18-year-old adolescent males, diagnosed with ADHD between 7 and 11 years of age, were re-evaluated for assessment of adolescent outcome 4.3–9.2 years later. Hierarchical regression analyses were run with each of the eight Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report problem scales, and the four anxiety symptom subscales of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children serving as outcome variables.
Results: Findings indicate that comorbid CD at baseline predicteds parent reports of behavior problems in adolescence, while comorbid anxiety disorders in childhood predicted youth reports of anxiety and social problems. Anxiety disorders without CD did not predict poor behavioral outcome. Children with both comorbid CD and anxiety disorder had the highest levels of parent-rated symptoms on follow up. In particular, adolescent social problems were best predicted by the combination of comorbid CD and anxiety disorder in childhood.
Conclusion: These data provide evidence that children with ADHD plus anxiety disorder do in fact have anxiety disorders, and that the combination of anxiety disorder and CD predicts a more rather than less severe course.
The present investigation examined factors that predict physical aggression in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stepwise, multiple regression-analyses were used to examine predictors of children's physical aggression as rated by parents at a 1-year follow-up point and by teachers at both 1- and 2-year follow-up points. Early parent and teacher ratings of verbal aggression (ie, cursing, teasing, and threatening) accounted for the greatest proportion of the variance in physical aggression ratings obtained at follow-up. None of the other predictor variable, including early ratings of physical aggression and ADHD behaviors, contributed significant additional variance beyond that accounted for by early verbal aggression ratings. Temporal and cross-informant analyses revealed that the relationship between verbal aggression and later physical aggression was situation-specific for teacher ratings but no parent ratings. Although physical aggression may emerge early in development, these data suggest that verbal aggre sion represents a stable, temperamental characteristic that may be of greater value than early physical aggression for predicting later physically aggressive acts.
Objective: To assess the impact of childhood conduct disorder (CD) and intelligence quotient (IQ) on later substance use in adolescence.
Methods: Neuropsychological and structured diagnostic evaluations were initially administered to 32 children with disruptive behavior disorder when they were 7–11 years of age. They were then re-evaluated on average 6.7 years later using an array of interviews and rating scales with a focus on substance use.
Results: Early CD and IQ scores together accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in later substance use (R2=.248). In addition, there was a significant CD and Verbal IQ interaction (R2=.164) such that high Verbal IQ was linked to increased substance use in adolescents who had childhood CD.
Conclusion: These data indicate that the presence of conduct disorder may interact with high Verbal IQ during childhood in such a way as to predict later adolescent substance use in disruptive behavior disorder populations.