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Autonomic arousal profiles in adolescents and young adults with ADHD as a function of recording context


Du Rietz, Ebba; James, Sarah-Naomi; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Asherson, Philip; Kuntsi, Jonna (2019). Autonomic arousal profiles in adolescents and young adults with ADHD as a function of recording context. Psychiatry Research, 275:212-220.

Abstract

A recent study (James et al. 2016) found that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was associated with hypo-arousal, indexed by low electrodermal activity, during a low-demand reaction-time task, which normalized in a fast-incentive condition. We now investigate if (1) autonomic arousal in individuals with ADHD changes over a long testing session and (2) across time, to clarify if arousal profiles are context-dependent. We also examine (3) how autonomic arousal relates to each ADHD symptom domain, and specificity of arousal profiles to ADHD, by controlling for oppositional defiant/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) symptoms. Skin conductance level and non-specific fluctuations were measured during four successive resting-state and cognitive conditions (Resting-state time 1, Continuous Performance Task, Fast Task: Baseline and Fast-Incentive conditions, Resting-state time 2) from 71 adolescents/young adults with ADHD and 140 controls. Lower arousal was observed in individuals with ADHD only during a slow, low-demanding task, and more fluctuating arousal was observed towards the end of assessment. Both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were associated with arousal levels and fluctuations, independently from ODD/CD. Overall, we extend previous findings showing that under-arousal, but also fluctuating arousal, are context-specific rather than stable impairments in ADHD.

Abstract

A recent study (James et al. 2016) found that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was associated with hypo-arousal, indexed by low electrodermal activity, during a low-demand reaction-time task, which normalized in a fast-incentive condition. We now investigate if (1) autonomic arousal in individuals with ADHD changes over a long testing session and (2) across time, to clarify if arousal profiles are context-dependent. We also examine (3) how autonomic arousal relates to each ADHD symptom domain, and specificity of arousal profiles to ADHD, by controlling for oppositional defiant/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) symptoms. Skin conductance level and non-specific fluctuations were measured during four successive resting-state and cognitive conditions (Resting-state time 1, Continuous Performance Task, Fast Task: Baseline and Fast-Incentive conditions, Resting-state time 2) from 71 adolescents/young adults with ADHD and 140 controls. Lower arousal was observed in individuals with ADHD only during a slow, low-demanding task, and more fluctuating arousal was observed towards the end of assessment. Both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms were associated with arousal levels and fluctuations, independently from ODD/CD. Overall, we extend previous findings showing that under-arousal, but also fluctuating arousal, are context-specific rather than stable impairments in ADHD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:1 May 2019
Deposited On:14 Aug 2019 10:45
Last Modified:12 Sep 2020 09:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-1781
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.03.039
PubMed ID:30928724

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