Diagnostic Issues and Biomarkers in AD/HD with and without comorbidity

Proposal details

Title: Diagnostic Issues and Biomarkers in AD/HD with and without comorbidity
Research Area(s): ADHD and Allied Conditions
Background: AD/HD is frequently comorbid with other psychiatric disorders, so much so that it has become a common characteristic of the AD/HD profile. Comorbidity can influence the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of AD/HD, with ODD and CD being the most frequently diagnosed comorbid conditions with this disorder. AD/HD is so frequently comorbid with other disorders that the presence of multiple other conditions has now become the norm rather than the exception to the diagnostic rule. The diagnosis of AD/HD is already difficult due to the heterogeneity of the condition, and is therefore hindered even further by issues such as comorbidity. In an attempt to assess the utility of more objective aids in the AD/HD diagnostic process, this study aims to objectively assess AD/HD children both with and without comorbidity via EEG measures to acquire what is thought to be the indices of attention and cognition, in the form of event-related potentials (ERPs), coupled with behavioural data.
Aims: To assess the feasibility of using objective measures such as ERPs and associated behavioural data in the diagnostic process for AD/HD with and without ODD/CD comorbidity. It is hypothesised that such data will prove more useful as a diagnostic aid with AD/HD with ODD/CD comorbidity, than AD/HD alone.
Method: In order to reduce variability in the AD/HD sample, only male children (aged 6-12 years) with a diagnosis of ADHD-combined subtype, with and without ODD/CD comorbidity will be assessed. An age- and gender-matched control group will be used as a comparison. Paradigms utilised will be the Oddball, Go/NoGo, CPT, Executive Maze, Switching of Attention, Spot the Word, and Verbal Interference tasks.