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Causal heterogeneity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: do we need neuropsychologically impaired subtypes?

Nigg, Joel, Willcutt, Erik, Doyle, Alysa and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S. (2005) Causal heterogeneity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: do we need neuropsychologically impaired subtypes? Biological Psychiatry, 57, (11), pp. 1224-1230. (doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.08.025).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Before assigning full etiologic validity to a psycopathologic disorder, disease theory suggests that a causal dysfunction in a mechanism within the affect individuals must be identified. Existing theories on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggest such dysfunctions in cognitive, neuropsychological, or motivational processes in the child.
To date, researchers have tested these theories by comparing groups with DSM-defined ADHD to children without ADHD. Using executive functioning as an illustration of an issue that exists across all such theories, this article describes substantial overlaps in the group performance data. Thus only a subgroup may have executive deficits. Noted are other supportive data suggesting multiple pathways to ADHD.
The article explores implications and recommends that future theory and research give more consideration to the probability that only a subset of behaviorally defined children will have a deficit in a given neurocognitive mechanism believed to contribute to the disorder. Creation of a provisional set of criteria in DSM-V for defining an “executive deficit type” could stimulate research to validate the first etiologic subtype of ADHD and spur the development of more sophisticated causal models, which in the longer term may give clinicians ways to target and tailor treatments.

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More information

Published date: 2005
Additional Information: Advancing the neuroscience of ADHD
Keywords: adhd, neuropsychology, executive functions, heterogeneity, dsm-v

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 40521
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/40521
ISSN: 0006-3223
PURE UUID: 2429c26a-b2aa-496d-9967-c534851f9cb1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:34

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Contributors

Author: Joel Nigg
Author: Erik Willcutt
Author: Alysa Doyle
Author: Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke

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