News: Specialized Press

Ocular-motor abnormalities in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence of deficits in the preparation of response and inhibition

Source: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2009; 48 (7):749-756. / Date: JULY 2009 / Category: Specialized Press


Objective: To study patterns of executive and ocular-motor control in a group of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD).

Method: A transversal study of 120 children between 8 and 12 years of age, including 60 with ADHD (24 girls) and 60 normally developed controls (29 girls). Among the ocular-motor paradigms were Visually-Guided Saccades (VGS), Antisaccades, Memory-guided Saccades and a test of " go / no-go ". Among the variables of interest the preparation of response, response inhibition and working memory stood out the most.

Results: As a group/whole, children with ADHD showed significant deficits in the preparation of ocular-motor responses (latency and variability of VGS) and inhibition of responses, but not in working memory. Girls, but not boys, with ADHD showed longer VGS latencies, even after controlling for differences in the severity of symptoms. ADHD subtypes were not differentiated in preparation or in response inhibition; however the boys with inattentive subtype were less accurate in working memory tasks that those of a combined subtype.

Conclusions: Gender differences in children with ADHD go beyond the symptomatic presentation in regard to the development of ocular-motor control. Saccadic latency may represent a specific deficit among girls with ADHD.

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