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Stability of executive function deficits into young adult years: a prospective longitudinal follow-up study of grown up males with ADHD

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Abstract:

Biederman J, Petty CR, Fried R, Doyle AE, Spencer T, Seidman LJ, Gross L, Poetzl K, Faraone SV. Stability of executive function deficits into young adult years: a prospective longitudinal follow-up study of grown up males with ADHD. Objective: 

Although individuals with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly exhibit deficits in executive functions that greatly increase the morbidity of the disorder, all available information on the subject is cross sectional. Method: 

Males (n = 85) 9–22 years with ADHD followed over 7 years into young adulthood were assessed on measures of sustained attention/vigilance, planning and organization, response inhibition, set shifting and categorization, selective attention and visual scanning, verbal and visual learning, and memory. A binary definition of executive function deficits (EFDs) was defined based on a subject manifesting at least two abnormal tests 1.5 standard deviations from controls. Results: 

The majority of subjects maintained EFDs over time (kappa: 0.41, P < 0.001; sensitivity: 55%, specificity: 85%, positive predictive value: 69%, and negative predictive value: 75%). Conclusion: 

Considering the morbidity of EFDs, these findings stress the importance of their early recognition for prevention and early intervention strategies. EFDs are stable over time.

Keywords: attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; executive functions; neuropsychology; stability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01008.x

Affiliations: 1: Pediatric Psychopharmacology Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 2: Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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