Relation between resting EEG to cognitive performance and clinical symptoms in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Martine van Dongen-Boomsma, Marieke M Lansbergen, Evelijne M Bekker, J J Sandra Kooij, Maurits van der Molen, J Leon Kenemans, Jan K Buitelaar

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children is characterized by elevated levels of slow wave activity and reduced fast wave activity in resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG). In adults with ADHD, resting-state EEG findings are scarce and inconsistent. The present study examined whether the disparate findings are due EEG recording conditions (i.e., eyes-open vs. eyes-closed). A second goal of the current study was to assess relations between EEG spectral indices to performance measures obtained using a stop-signal task, and to behavioral ADHD symptoms. The present study included 24 adults with ADHD and 24 control adults. The EEG results showed a greater reduction in alpha power from eyes-closed to eyes-open (i.e., alpha attenuation) in ADHD compared to controls. In addition, theta/beta ratio was negatively correlated to the speed of responding to choice stimuli. These findings were interpreted vis-à-vis a biophysical model assuming that the hypo-arousal in ADHD is due to an overdrive of the nucleus coeruleus resulting in inhibitory activity of the thalamic reticular nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-6
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

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