What is new in research on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?
In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with a special focus on connections between ADHD and neurodegenerative disease and interventions for children and adolescents with ADHD.
Examining the Relationship Between ADHD and Neurodegenerative Disease
Investigators conducted a review exploring the connection between ADHD and the risk of developing dementia or other neurodegenerative diseases. After examining several relevant studies, the investigators concluded that, although the evidence suggests a potential link between ADHD and a higher risk of dementia, further research with improved methodology is needed to establish a definitive relationship.
“Although the studies identified present evidence for a link between ADHD and subsequent development of dementia, the magnitude of the direct effect of ADHD on neurodegeneration is yet to be determined and better empirically designed studies are first needed,” the investigators stated. “Furthermore, the mechanism of how or why ADHD is associated with an increased risk of developing a neurocognitive disorder is still unclear and should be explored in future studies.”
Becker S, Chowdhury M, Tavilsup P, et al. Risk of neurodegenerative disease or dementia in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Front Psychiatry. 2023;14:1158546.
A Look at Functional Connectivity and Complexity in Pre-Adolescents With ADHD
Investigators examined the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data of pre-adolescents with ADHD and healthy controls from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. They found that, in comparison with controls, children with ADHD had reduced complexity and increased functional connectivity (FC) within the frontoparietal network. The investigators also identified fewer correlations between complexity and FC in the participants with ADHD, suggesting altered function in inhibitory control networks in ADHD.
“The observation of reduced entropy is consistent with existing literature using rsfMRI and other neuroimaging modalities,” the investigators concluded. “The current findings of complexity and FC in ADHD support hypotheses of altered function of inhibitory control networks in ADHD.”
Zhang R, Murray SB, Duval CJ, et al. Functional connectivity and complexity analyses of resting-state fMRI in pre-adolescents with ADHD. Preprint. medRxiv. 2023;2023.08.17.23294136.
High School Intervention Study Protocol for Students With ADHD
Investigators presented a study protocol outlining a randomized controlled trial of STRIPES, a peer-delivered high school intervention for students with ADHD that targets organization, time management, and planning skills. The trial aims to evaluate the efficacy of STRIPES and examine treatment moderators and the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
“This study will generate knowledge about the effectiveness and implementability of STRIPES, which will inform dissemination efforts in the future,” the investigators concluded. “A peer-delivered high school intervention for organization, time management, and planning skills can provide accessible and feasible treatment targeting declines in academic motivation, grades, and attendance during the ninth-grade year.”
Macphee FL, Brewer SK, Sibley MH, et al. Study protocol of a randomized trial of STRIPES: a schoolyear, peer-delivered high school intervention for students with ADHD. BMC Psychol. 2023;11(1):268.
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