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Preliminary evidence for reduced posterror reaction time slowing in hyperactive/inattentive preschool children

Berwid, Olga G; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Johnson, Ray Jr; Marks, David J
BACKGROUND: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with deficits in self-regulatory cognitive processes, some of which are thought to lie at the heart of the disorder. Slowing of reaction times (RTs) for correct responses following errors made during decision tasks has been interpreted as an indication of intact self-regulatory functioning and has been shown to be attenuated in school-aged children with ADHD. This study attempted to examine whether ADHD symptoms are associated with an early-emerging deficit in posterror slowing. METHOD: A computerized two-choice RT task was administered to an ethnically diverse sample of preschool-aged children classified as either "control" (n = 120) or "hyperactive/inattentive" (HI; n = 148) using parent- and teacher-rated ADHD symptoms. Analyses were conducted to determine whether HI preschoolers exhibit a deficit in this self-regulatory ability. RESULTS: HI children exhibited reduced posterror slowing relative to controls on the trials selected for analysis. Supplementary analyses indicated that this may have been due to a reduced proportion of trials following errors on which HI children slowed rather than due to a reduction in the absolute magnitude of slowing on all trials following errors. CONCLUSIONS: High levels of ADHD symptoms in preschoolers may be associated with a deficit in error processing as indicated by posterror slowing. The results of supplementary analyses suggest that this deficit is perhaps more a result of failures to perceive errors than of difficulties with executive control.
PMID: 23387525
ISSN: 0929-7049
CID: 867382

Training Executive, Attention, and Motor Skills: A Proof-of-Concept Study in Preschool Children With ADHD

Halperin, JM; Marks, DJ; Bedard, AC; Chacko, A; Curchack, JT; Yoon, CA; Healey, DM
Objective: To examine whether cognitive enhancement can be delivered through play to preschoolers with ADHD and whether it would affect severity of ADHD symptoms. Method: Twenty-nine 4- and 5-year-old children and their parents participated in separate group sessions (3-5 children/group). Child groups were introduced games designed to enhance inhibitory control, working memory, attention, visuospatial abilities, planning, and motor skills. Parent groups were encouraged playing these games with their children at least 30 to 45 min/day and taught strategies for scaffolding difficulty levels and dealing with obstacles to daily playing. Results: Parent ratings and session attendance indicated considerable satisfaction with the program. Parent (p < .001) and teacher (p = .003) ratings on the ADHD-Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV) indicated significant improvement in ADHD severity from pre- to post-treatment, which persisted 3 months later. Conclusion: This play-based intervention for preschoolers with ADHD is readily implemented at home. Preliminary evidence suggests efficacy beyond the termination of active treatment. (J. of Att. Dis. 2012; XX(X) 1-XX).
PMID: 22392551
ISSN: 1087-0547
CID: 164592

Neuropsychological functioning and severity of ADHD in early childhood: A four-year cross-lagged study

Rajendran, Khushmand; Rindskopf, David; O'Neill, Sarah; Marks, David J; Nomura, Yoko; Halperin, Jeffrey M
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have poorer neuropsychological functioning relative to their typically developing peers. However, it is unclear whether early neuropsychological functioning predicts later ADHD severity and/or the latter is longitudinally associated with subsequent neuropsychological functioning; and whether these relations are different in children with and without early symptoms of ADHD. This study aimed to examine the longitudinal associations between ADHD severity and neuropsychological functioning among children at high and low risk of developing ADHD. Hyperactive/Inattentive (H/I; n = 140) and Typically developing (TD; n = 76) preschoolers (age 3-4 years) were recruited (BL) and followed annually for 3 years (F1, F2, and F3). Teachers rated the children's ADHD severity and impairment using the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2 and the Children's Problem Checklist, respectively. Parent reports of children's ADHD severity were obtained using the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Present and Lifetime version. Neuropsychological functioning was assessed using the NEPSY. In the full sample, there were bidirectional longitudinal associations between neuropsychological functioning and ADHD severity between F1 and F3. Among H/I children, neuropsychological functioning at F1 and F2 predicted ADHD severity at F2 and F3, respectively. In contrast, among TD children the only significant relationship observed was that elevated ADHD symptoms at F2 were associated with poorer neuropsychological functioning at F3. Improved neuropsychological functioning may attenuate ADHD symptoms and associated impairment among H/I children during the early school years. Interventions designed to improve neuropsychological functioning among young H/I children may be beneficial in reducing their ADHD severity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
PMID: 24364619
ISSN: 0021-843x
CID: 746142

ADHD Preschoolers With and Without ODD: Do They Act Differently Depending On Degree of Task Engagement/Reward?

Gopin, CB; Berwid, O; Marks, DJ; Mlodnicka, A; Halperin, JM
Objective: To examine the impact of reinforcement on reaction time (RT) and RT variability (RT standard deviation [RTSD]) in preschoolers with ADHD with and without oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and a typically developing (TD) comparison group. Method: Participants were administered a computerized task consisting of two conditions: simple RT (SRT) and reinforced SRT (SRTr). Data were analyzed using two-way (Group x Condition) mixed ANOVAs and followed-up using pairwise comparisons. Results: RTs were significantly shorter and less variable during the SRTr than the SRT condition. A significant Group x Condition interaction was observed for RTSD (F= 3.38, p < .05); post hoc analyses indicated that the RTSD of the ADHD + ODD group was significantly more variable than that of the TD group during the SRT condition (F = 4.81, p < .05). However, their RTSD was statistically indistinguishable from the other groups during the SRTr condition. Conclusion: Preschoolers who are oppositional/defiant and hyperactive are the most responsive to feedback/reward. (J. of Att. Dis. 2011; XX(X) 1-XX).
PMID: 22323121
ISSN: 1087-0547
CID: 164593

Association between variation in neuropsychological development and trajectory of ADHD severity in early childhood

Rajendran, Khushmand; Trampush, Joey W; Rindskopf, David; Marks, David J; O'Neill, Sarah; Halperin, Jeffrey M
OBJECTIVE: This longitudinal study examined if changes in neuropsychological functioning were associated with the trajectory of symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impairment between preschool and school age. METHOD: The sample consisted of 3- and 4-year-old children (N=138) who were identified as being at risk for ADHD based on parent and teacher reports. Neuropsychological functioning was measured annually using the NEPSY at four time points (mean ages, 4.19, 5.36, 6.35, and 7.35 years). ADHD symptoms and impairment were assessed with semiannual parent and teacher reports using the ADHD Rating Scale-IV and the Children's Problems Checklist at 10 time points (mean ages at baseline and final assessment, 4.19 and 8.81 years, respectively). Hierarchical linear modeling was used to assess the trajectories of change in neuropsychological functioning and ADHD severity as well as the association of change in neuropsychological functioning with change in ADHD severity over time. RESULTS: Baseline neuropsychological functioning was not significantly associated with the slope of change in ADHD severity. However, the magnitude of change in neuropsychological functioning was linearly associated with the trajectory of ADHD symptom severity and impairment, such that individuals with greater neuropsychological growth over time had a greater diminution of ADHD severity and impairment. Family socioeconomic status at baseline was significantly associated with initial ADHD severity and impairment, but not with change over time. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions that enhance neuropsychological functioning at an early age may be beneficial in attenuating long-term ADHD severity and impairment.
PMID: 23897408
ISSN: 1535-7228
CID: 1805792

Learning and cognitive disorders: multidiscipline treatment approaches

Chacko, Anil; Uderman, Jodi; Feirsen, Nicole; Bedard, Anne-Claude; Marks, David
This article provides a select review of treatments for addressing reading disorder, mathematics disorder, disorder of written expression, auditory processing disorder, and poor working memory. This information will be valuable to practitioners in determining the suitability of certain treatments for these various disorders and problems, which has direct implications for providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment for youth.
PMID: 23806314
ISSN: 1056-4993
CID: 415102

Cogmed Working Memory Training for Youth with ADHD: A Closer Examination of Efficacy Utilizing Evidence-Based Criteria

Chacko, Anil; Feirsen, Nicole; Bedard, Anne-Claude; Marks, David; Uderman, Jodi Z; Chimiklis, Alyssa
The current review applied the evidence-based treatment criteria espoused by the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (Silverman & Hinshaw, 2008 ) to specifically evaluate the short-term and longer term efficacy of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) as a treatment for youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Utilizing a systematic literature search, 7 studies that employed the school-age version of CWMT were identified for this review. The data reviewed herein suggest mixed findings regarding the benefit of CWMT for youth with ADHD. Two randomized controlled studies have demonstrated that CWMT led to improvements in neuropsychological outcomes and parent-rated ADHD symptoms relative to wait-list control and placebo treatment conditions. Another study demonstrated effects of CWMT relative to a placebo condition on an analog observation of behavior during an academic task, although this study did not find an effect of CWMT on parent-rated ADHD. Finally, an additional study utilizing an active comparison control condition did not find incremental benefits of CWMT on parent- or teacher-rated ADHD. Critical issues in interpreting existing studies include lack of alignment between demonstrated outcomes and the hypothesized model of therapeutic benefit of CWMT, issues with equivalence of control conditions, and individual differences that may moderate treatment response. Collectively, the strengths and limitations of the studies reviewed suggest that CWMT is best defined as a Possibly Efficacious Treatment for youth with ADHD. We suggest future directions for research and conclude with clinical implications of our findings for the treatment of youth with ADHD.
PMID: 23668397
ISSN: 1537-4416
CID: 687712

Diagnosis of ADHD in Adults: What Is the Appropriate DSM-5 Symptom Threshold for Hyperactivity-Impulsivity?

Solanto, MV; Marks, DJ; Wasserstein, J; Mitchell, KJ
Objective: To empirically identify the appropriate symptom threshold for hyperactivity-impulsivity for diagnosis of ADHD in adults. Method: Participants were 88 adults (M [SD] age = 41.69 [11.78] years, 66% female, 16% minority) meeting formal DSM-IV criteria for ADHD combined or predominantly inattentive subtypes based on a structured diagnostic interview keyed to DSM-IV (Conners' Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV [CAADID]). All participants also completed the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS), which was normed on the general adult population and includes subscales for DSM-IV inattentive and DSM-IV hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. A T-score threshold of 65 (at least 1.5 SD above population mean) on the CAARS DSM-IV hyperactive-impulsive dimension was used to identify participants with empirically elevated symptom severity. Results: Of 88 participating adults, 48 (55%) had a T-score of at least 65 (1.5 SD) on the CAARS DSM-IV Hyperactive-Impulsive scale. Of these, only 25 (52%) met the DSM-IV cutoff of six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms on the CAADID. Thus, approximately half of those who reported empirically elevated hyperactive-impulsive complaints on the CAARS did not concurrently meet the six-symptom DSM-IV cutoff on the CAADID. An alternative cutoff of four hyperactive-impulsive symptoms on the CAADID captured 39 (81%) cases identified by the CAARS. Conclusion: In adults, mandating at least six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms excludes a significant percentage (almost half) of adults who are at least 1.5 SD above the population mean on a dimensional measure of hyperactivity-impulsivity. These data provide a compelling basis for lowering the symptom threshold of hyperactivity-impulsivity for adults in the DSM-5. (J. of Att. Dis. 2011; XX(X) 1-XX).
PMID: 21976031
ISSN: 1087-0547
CID: 164595

Exposure to gestational diabetes mellitus and low socioeconomic status: effects on neurocognitive development and risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in offspring

Nomura, Yoko; Marks, David J; Grossman, Bella; Yoon, Michelle; Loudon, Holly; Stone, Joanne; Halperin, Jeffrey M
OBJECTIVE: To examine the independent and synergistic effects of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and low socioeconomic status (SES) on neurodevelopment and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) outcomes. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Flushing, New York. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 212 preschool children as a part of the ongoing cohort study. Main Exposures Gestational diabetes mellitus and low SES. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes are ADHD diagnosis based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria at age 6 years and several well-validated measures of neurobehavioral outcomes, cognitive functioning, ADHD symptoms, and temperament at age 4 years. Secondary outcomes are parent and teacher reports of behavioral and emotional problems at age 6 years. Neurobehavioral measures in relation to GDM and low SES were examined using generalized estimating equations and multivariate logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Both maternal GDM and low SES were associated with an approximately 2-fold increased risk for ADHD at age 6 years. However, the risk by GDM was greater among lower SES families than among higher SES families. Children exposed to both GDM and low SES demonstrated compromised neurobehavioral functioning, including lower IQ, poorer language, and impoverished behavioral and emotional functioning. A test of additive interaction found that the risk for ADHD increased over 14-fold (P = .006) when children were exposed to both GDM and low SES. Neither children exposed to maternal GDM alone nor those exposed to low SES alone had a notable increased risk for ADHD. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal GDM and low SES, especially in combination, heighten the risk for childhood ADHD. Long-term prevention efforts should be directed at mothers with GDM to avoid suboptimal neurobehavioral development and mitigate the risk for ADHD among their offspring.
PMID: 22213602
ISSN: 1072-4710
CID: 164594

Examining the Interplay Among Negative Emotionality, Cognitive Functioning, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptom Severity

Healey, DM; Marks, DJ; Halperin, JM
Cognition and emotion, traditionally thought of as largely distinct, have recently begun to be conceptualized as dynamically linked processes that interact to influence functioning. This study investigated the moderating effects of cognitive functioning on the relationship between negative emotionality and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom severity. A total of 216 (140 hyperactive/inattentive; 76 typically developing) preschoolers aged 3-4 years were administered a neuropsychological test battery (i.e., NEPSY). To avoid method bias, child negative emotionality was rated by teachers (Temperament Assessment Battery for Children-Revised), and parents rated symptom severity on the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS-IV). Hierarchical Linear Regression analyses revealed that both negative emotionality and Perceptual-Motor & Executive Functions accounted for significant unique variance in ADHD symptom severity. Significant interactions indicated that when negative emotionality is low, but not high, neuropsychological functioning accounts for significant variability in ADHD symptoms, with lower functioning predicting more symptoms. Emotional and neuropsychological functioning, both individually and in combination, play a significant role in the expression of ADHD symptom severity. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1-9).
PMID: 21466739
ISSN: 1355-6177
CID: 164596