Thursday, June 21, 2007

More on ADHD and poor internal mental clock

Another research study (Rommelse et al., 2007) suggesting a deficit in the internal brain clock may be associated with (diagnostic marker?) ADHD in children (click here for prior post). In particular, the ability to reproduce time intervals (time reproduction tasks) was found to be related to a potential diagnosis of ADHD in young children.

Once again...another study linking various mental functions and clinical disorders and the functioning of the internal brain clock...tick, tock, tick, tock......
  • Objective: Time reproduction is deficient in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whether this deficit is familial and could therefore serve as a candidate endophenotype has not been previously investigated. It is unknown whether timing deficits are also measurable in adolescent children with ADHD and nonaffected siblings. Method: These issues were investigated in 226 children with ADHD, 188 nonaffected siblings, and 162 normal controls ages 5 to 19. Children participated in a visual and auditory time reproduction task. They reproduced interval lengths of 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 seconds. Results: Children with ADHD and their nonaffected siblings were less precise than controls, particularly when task difficulty was systematically increased. Time reproduction skills were familial. Time reproduction deficits were more pronounced in younger children with ADHD than in older children. Children with ADHD could be clearly dissociated from control children until the age of 9. After this age, group differences were somewhat attenuated, but were still present. Differences between nonaffected siblings and controls were constant across the age range studied. Deficits were unaffected by modality. Conclusions: Time reproduction may serve as a candidate endophenotype for ADHD, predominantly in younger children with (a genetic risk for) ADHD.

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