Electrophysiological studies of adult ADHD

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Longitudinal outcome studies indicate that the cardinal symptoms of ADHD – inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness – persist into adulthood in the majority of cases (Faraone & Biederman, 2005). As some symptoms of ADHD decline in severity throughout development, many individuals who fulfilled symptom criteria for ADHD as children may no longer reach full criteria for ADHD as adults, even though in many cases persistence of some symptoms continues to cause significant clinical impairments (Asherson et al., 2007). Although currently there are no specific criteria for ADHD in adults and research on adult ADHD is as yet limited, adult ADHD is increasingly being recognized as a reliable and valid diagnostic entity that shares many features with ADHD in children (Asherson, 2005). Convergent data from cognitive-experimental, neuropsychological (Boonstra et al., 2005; Hervey, Epstein, & Curry, 2004; Woods, Lovejoy, & Bush, 2002), neuroimaging, and neurochemical studies (Hesslinger et al., 2002; Seidman, Valera, & Bush, 2004; Seidman et al., 2006; Volkow et al., 2007) suggest that metabolic and structural differences associated with ADHD persist into adulthood. Similarly, investigations of adult ADHD, which use electrophysiological techniques (electroencephalography [EEG] and event-related potential [ERPs]), have indicated persistence of neurophysiological abnormalities in ADHD. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the electrophysiological findings, to date, in adult ADHD. To provide a lifespan perspective of the electrophysiology of ADHD, these findings in adults are discussed in relation to those in children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationADHD in Adults
Subtitle of host publicationCharacterization, Diagnosis, and Treatment
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780511780752
ISBN (Print)9780521864312
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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