advertisement
Home » News » Brain Images Show How Meds Help ADHD

Brain Images Show How Meds Help ADHD

An innovative new study compared children with ADHD and typically developing children using a videogame task.

Playing the game required the children to focus their attention and to control impulsive actions.

The children performed this task under three different motivational conditions, and the children with ADHD were tested both on and off their usual dose of medication. This allowed the researchers to compare the effects of both medication and motivation on the children’s response inhibition.

Dr. Madeleine Groom, corresponding author of the study and Professor Chris Hollis, principal investigator, explained their findings:

“We found that brain electrical activity in children with ADHD when attending to the task and restraining impulsive responses differed from a comparison group of children without ADHD, but became more similar when they took stimulant medication.

“Intriguingly, rewards and penalties given to improve task performance also changed brain activity, and did so in both children with ADHD and in the control group, although these motivational effects were much smaller than those associated with medication.”

These findings suggest that stimulant medication tends to normalize brain function in children with ADHD and enables them to better maintain attention and restrain impulsive responses.

Motivational incentives also seem to play a role in modulating similar neural circuits and work additively with medication to improve performance in children with ADHD.

Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented that “the findings suggest that there may be important additive effects of stimulant medications and behavioral strategies for increasing motivation in ADHD.

“These interactive effects are important to bear in mind when optimizing the performance of children in school and other settings that require control of attention and behavior.”

The study is published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Source: Elsevier

Brain Images Show How Meds Help ADHD

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Brain Images Show How Meds Help ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/04/20/brain-images-show-how-meds-help-adhd/12951.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.