Neuropsychological and behavioural disinhibition in adult ADHD compared to borderline personality disorder
ABSTRACT Although attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is thought to be an inhibitory disorder, the question remains of how specific the inhibitory deficit is in adults and whether it distinguishes ADHD from borderline personality disorder (BPD), with which it shares several clinical features, particularly impulsiveness.
The study assessed various motor and cognitive inhibitory functions (inhibition of prepotent, ongoing and interfering responses) in addition to working memory in adult ADHD patients with and without BPD, compared to subjects with BPD alone and controls. In addition, questionnaire data on various aspects of impulsiveness and anger regulation were assessed in all groups.
ADHD patients performed worse than BPD individuals and controls in two inhibitory tasks: the stop signal task and the conflict module of the Attentional Network Task (ANT). In addition, they exhibited longer reaction times (RTs) and higher intra-individual variance in nearly all attentional tasks. The co-morbid group exhibited poor performance on the stop signal task but not on the conflict task. The BPD group barely differed from controls in neuropsychological performance but overlapped with ADHD in some behavioural problems, although they were less severe on the whole.
Impaired inhibition is a core feature in adults with ADHD. In addition, slow RTs and high intra-individual variance in performance may reflect deficits in the regulation of activation and effort in ADHD patients. ADHD and BPD share some symptoms of behavioural dysregulation without common cognitive deficits, at least in the attentional realm.
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ABSTRACT: Disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by impulsive behaviors. Impulsivity as used in clinical terms is very broadly defined and entails different categories including personality traits as well as different cognitive functions such as emotion regulation or interference reso-lution and impulse control. Impulse control as an executive function, however, is neither cognitively nor neurobehaviorally a unitary function. Recent findings from behavioral and cognitive neuroscience studies suggest related but dissociable components of impulse control along functional domains like selective attention, response selection, motivational control, and behavioral inhibition. In addition, behavioral and neural dissociations are seen for proactive vs. reactive inhibitory motor control.The prefrontal cortex with its sub-regions is the central structure in executing these impulse control functions. Based on these con-cepts of impulse control, neurobehavioral findings of studies in BPD and ADHD were reviewed and systematically compared. Overall, patients with BPD exhibited prefrontal dysfunctions across impulse control components rather in orbitofrontal, dorsomedial, and dorsolateral prefrontal regions, whereas patients with ADHD displayed disturbed activity mainly in ventrolateral and medial prefrontal regions. Prefrontal dysfunctions, however, varied depending on the impulse control component and from disorder to disorder. This suggests a dissociation of impulse control related frontal dysfunctions in BPD and ADHD, although only few studies are hitherto available to assess frontal dysfunctions along differ-ent impulse control components in direct comparison of these disorders.Yet, these findings might serve as a hypothesis for the future systematic assessment of impulse control com-ponents to understand differences and commonalities of prefrontal cortex dysfunction in impulsive disorders.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:698. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00698 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Diagnosis and management of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults is complex and challenging because of the frequent comorbidity of other psychiatric disorders that have symptoms overlapping with those of ADHD. The presence of comorbidities can create challenges to making an accurate diagnosis and also impact treatment options and outcomes. This review discusses disorders that may be comorbid with ADHD in adults, including anxiety, mood, substance use disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Suggestions for recognizing these comorbidities and distinguishing them from ADHD and perspectives on their possible impact on ADHD treatment are included. Adjunctive nonpharmacologic modalities may be especially helpful in the case of comorbid mood, anxiety, substance abuse, or personality disorders.Postgraduate Medicine 09/2014; 126(5):42-51. DOI:10.3810/pgm.2014.09.2799 · 1.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Attention deficit disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with inhibitory dysfunction contributing to typical behavioral symptoms like impulsivity or hyperactivity. However, some studies analyzing intraindividual variability (IIV) of reaction times in children with ADHD (cADHD) question a predominance of inhibitory deficits. IIV is a measure of the stability of information processing and provides evidence that longer reaction times (RT) in inhibitory tasks in cADHD are due to only a few prolonged responses which may indicate deficits in sustained attention rather than inhibitory dysfunction. We wanted to find out, whether a slowing in inhibitory functioning in adults with ADHD (aADHD) is due to isolated slow responses. Computing classical RT measures (mean RT, SD), ex-Gaussian parameters of IIV (which allow a better separation of reaction time (mu), variability (sigma) and abnormally slow responses (tau) than classical measures) as well as errors of omission and commission, we examined response inhibition in a well-established GoNogo task in a sample of aADHD subjects without medication and healthy controls matched for age, gender and education. We did not find higher numbers of commission errors in aADHD, while the number of omissions was significantly increased compared with controls. In contrast to increased mean RT, the distributional parameter mu did not document a significant slowing in aADHD. However, subjects with aADHD were characterized by increased IIV throughout the entire RT distribution as indicated by the parameters sigma and tau as well as the SD of reaction time. Moreover, we found a significant correlation between tau and the number of omission errors. Our findings question a primacy of inhibitory deficits in aADHD and provide evidence for attentional dysfunction. The present findings may have theoretical implications for etiological models of ADHD as well as more practical implications for neuropsychological testing in aADHD.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e112298. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112298 · 3.53 Impact Factor