Dopamine reward pathway in adult ADHD.

JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 29.98). 01/2010; 303(3):233; author reply 233-4. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1999
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Major depressive episode (MDE) is a chronic disease typified by episodes that remit and recur. It is a major contributor to the burden of disease. The diagnosis of a disorder is an expert opinion that the disorder is present. The nine symptoms of MDE exist on dimensions of greater or lesser intensity, persistence over time, change in usual state, distress and impairment. It is the clinician's task to judge whether the elicited symptoms warrant the diagnosis. The surprise is that trained clinicians can do this reliably and that diagnostic interviews and questionnaires can emulate this process. The distribution of symptoms in community surveys is exponential, with no obvious discontinuity at the diagnostic threshold. Taxometric and primary care studies confirm this. The number of symptoms predicts severity, comorbidity, family history, disability, help seeking and treatment recommendations. The latent structure of mental disorders places MDE in the distress misery cluster. Measures of well-being, distress, disability and neuroticism correlate with the number of symptoms but the relation is not perfect. The Patient Health Questionnaire is derived from the diagnostic criteria and does not suffer this limitation. The introduction of measures like this would acknowledge dimensionality, would facilitate recognition, guide treatment, and be acceptable to consumers, providers and funders.
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been estimated at 3-7% in the population. Children with this disorder are often characterized by symptoms of inattention and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity, which can significantly impact on many aspects of their behaviour and performance. This study investigated the characteristics of the SWAN Rating Scale and its discrimination of ADHD subtypes. This instrument was developed by Swanson and his colleagues and measures attentiveness and hyperactivity on a continuum, from attention problems to positive attention skills, using a seven-point scale of behaviour: "far below average" to "far above average". The Australian Twin Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Study consists of questionnaire data collected from families in 1990/2007. The Rasch model was used to measure the characteristics of items from the SWAN Rating Scale; how well these items discriminated between those with and without ADHD. The prevalence of each subtype was found to be 5.3% for inattentive ADHD, 4.3% for hyperactive ADHD and 4.6% for combined ADHD. A total of 14.2% of the cohort appeared to have ADHD. While the inattentive items appeared to be consistent with each other in their measurement behaviour and response patterns, the hyperactive items were less consistent. Further, the combined subtype appeared to be an entirely different type, with unique features unlike the other two subtypes. Further work is needed to distinguish the diagnostic features of each subtype of ADHD.
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    ABSTRACT: Most behavior checklists for attention problems or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) have a narrow range of scores, focusing on the extent to which problems are present. It has been proposed that measuring attention on a continuum, from positive attention skills to attention problems, will add value to our understanding of ADHD and related problems. The Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD symptoms and Normal behavior scale (SWAN) is such a scale. Items of the SWAN are scored on a seven-point scale, with in the middle 'average behavior' and on the extremes 'far below average' and 'far above average'. The SWAN and the CBCL were completed by mothers of respectively 560 and 469 12-year-old twin pairs. The SWAN consists of nine DSM-IV items for Attention Deficit (AD) and nine DSM-IV items for Hyperactivity/Impulsivity (HI). The CBCL Attention Problem (AP) scale consists of 11 items, which are rated on a three-point scale. Children who had a score of zero on the CBCL AP scale can be further differentiated using the SWAN, with variation seen between the average behavior and far above average range. In addition, SWAN scores were normally distributed, rather than kurtotic or skewed as is often seen with other behavioral checklists. The CBCL AP scale and the SWAN-HI and AD scale were strongly influenced by genetic factors (73%, 90% and 82%, respectively). However, there were striking differences in genetic architecture: variation in CBCL AP scores is in large part explained by non-additive genetic influences. Variation in SWAN scores is explained by additive genetic influences only. Ratings on the SWAN cover the continuum from positive attention skills to attention and hyperactivity problems that define ADHD. Instruments such as the SWAN offer clinicians and researchers the opportunity to examine variation in both strengths and weaknesses in attention skills.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 12/2007; 48(11):1080-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01783.x · 5.67 Impact Factor


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Jun 10, 2014