Attention and Executive Functions of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalent neurobehavioral disorder that may be associated with impairment in attention and executive functions. Very few Indian studies have focussed on neuropsychological functions in children with ADHD. We evaluated attention and executive functions such as psychomotor speed, response inhibition and set-shifting in 6-12 year old children with ADHD in comparison with age, gender and education matched healthy controls. The participants included 16 children, out
of which eight had ADHD and eight were healthy comparators. They were assessed with Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale, Trail Making Test A and B (TMT A and B), Stroop Colour Word Interference Test (SCWIT) and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). The ADHD group was found to have sign ificant deficits in the TMT A (p=0.04) and TMT B (p=0.03); and in colour (p=0.01), word (p=0.008) and colour word (p=0.03) subscores of SCWIT. No significant differences were observed in SCWIT interference score or WCST scores. The study shows that ADHD is associated with impairments in attention, psychomotor speed, colour naming and word reading but not with impairments in response inhibition or set shifting. Studies with larger sample size are needed for a better understanding of neuropsychological deficits in ADHD.


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