Impact of emotional salience on episodic memory in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.
ABSTRACT Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show episodic memory deficits especially in complex memory tasks. We investigated the neural correlates of memory formation in ADHD and their modulation by stimulus salience.
We recorded event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging during an episodic memory paradigm with neutral and emotional pictures in 12 male ADHD subjects and 12 healthy adolescents.
Emotional salience did significantly augment memory performance in ADHD patients. Successful encoding of neutral pictures was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in healthy adolescents but with activation of the superior parietal lobe (SPL) and precuneus in ADHD patients. Successful encoding of emotional pictures was associated with prefrontal and inferior temporal cortex activation in both groups. Healthy adolescents, moreover, showed deactivation in the inferior parietal lobe.
From a pathophysiological point of view, the most striking functional differences between healthy adolescents and ADHD patients were in the ACC and SPL. We suggest that increased SPL activation in ADHD reflected attentional compensation for low ACC activation during the encoding of neutral pictures. The higher salience of emotional stimuli, in contrast, regulated the interplay between ACC and SPL in conjunction with improving memory to the level of healthy adolescents.
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ABSTRACT: Psychiatric "nosology" is largely based on clinical phenomenology using convention-based diagnostic systems not necessarily reflecting neurobiological pathomechanisms. While progress has been made regarding its molecular biology and neuropathology, the phenotypic characterization of ADHD has not improved. Thus, validated biomarkers, more directly linked to the underlying pathology, could constitute an objective measure for the condition. The task force on biological markers of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and the World Federation of ADHD commissioned this paper to develop a consensus report on potential biomarkers of ADHD. The criteria for biomarker-candidate evaluation were: (1) sensitivity >80%, (2) specificity >80%, (3) the candidate is reliable, reproducible, inexpensive, non-invasive, easy to use, and (4) confirmed by at least two independent studies in peer-reviewed journals conducted by qualified investigators. No reliable ADHD biomarker has been described to date, but some promising candidates (e.g., olfactory sensitivity, substantial echogenicity) exist. A problem in the development of ADHD markers is sample heterogeneity due to aetiological and phenotypic complexity and age-dependent co-morbidities. Most likely, no single ADHD biomarker can be identified. However, the use of a combination of markers may help to reduce heterogeneity and to identify homogeneous subtypes of ADHD.The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 07/2012; 13(5):379-400. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Computerized working memory and executive function training programs designed to target specific impairments in executive functioning are becoming increasingly available, yet how well these programs generalize to improve functional deficits in disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), beyond the training context is not well-established. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which working memory (WM) training in children with ADHD would diminish a core dysfunctional behavior associated with the disorder, "off-task" behavior during academic task performance. The effect of computerized WM training (adaptive) was compared to a placebo condition (nonadaptive) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in 26 children (18 males; age, 7 to 14 years old) diagnosed with ADHD. Participants completed the training in approximately 25 sessions. The Restricted Academic Situations Task (RAST) observational system was used to assess aspects of off-task behavior during the completion of an academic task. Traditional measures of ADHD symptoms (Conners' Parent Rating Scale) and WM ability (standardized WM tests) were also collected. WM training led to significant reductions in off-task ADHD-associated behavior on the RAST system and improvement on WM tests. There were no significant differences between groups in improvement on parent rating scales. Findings lend insight into the generalizability of the effects of WM training and the relation between deficits in WM and off-task behavioral components of ADHD. These preliminary data suggest WM training may provide a mechanism for indirectly altering academic performance in children with ADHD.Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics 07/2012; 9(3):639-48. · 5.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fronto-limbic brain activity during sleep is believed to support the consolidation of emotional memories in healthy adults. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is accompanied by emotional deficits coincidently caused by dysfunctional interplay of fronto-limbic circuits. This study aimed to examine the role of sleep in the consolidation of emotional memory in ADHD in the context of healthy development. 16 children with ADHD, 16 healthy children, and 20 healthy adults participated in this study. Participants completed an emotional picture recognition paradigm in sleep and wake control conditions. Each condition had an immediate (baseline) and delayed (target) retrieval session. The emotional memory bias was baseline-corrected, and groups were compared in terms of sleep-dependent memory consolidation (sleep vs. wake). We observed an increased sleep-dependent emotional memory bias in healthy children compared to children with ADHD and healthy adults. Frontal oscillatory EEG activity (slow oscillations, theta) during sleep correlated negatively with emotional memory performance in children with ADHD. When combining data of healthy children and adults, correlation coefficients were positive and differed from those in children with ADHD. Since children displayed a higher frontal EEG activity than adults these data indicate a decline in sleep-related consolidation of emotional memory in healthy development. In addition, it is suggested that deficits in sleep-related selection between emotional and non-emotional memories in ADHD exacerbate emotional problems during daytime as they are often reported in ADHD.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e65098. · 3.73 Impact Factor