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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is generally believed to be a deficit of the functions of the frontal lobe of the brain.

In agreement with this idea the antisaccade performance (also a frontal lobe function) exhibits systematic deficits in about 50% of the of ADHD children.

The usual medication by Ritalin improves this frontal component of optomotor control. Recent attempts show that daily practice of specific visual tasks including visual distractors improve also the antisaccade performance. These positive effects can be obtained without medication.

Age curves of Antisaccade Performance in ADHD

In ADHD the performance of the antisaccade gap task is systematically below the level of the controls with the exeption of the youngest age group.

Effects of Ritalin on Antisaccade Performance in ADHD

Ritalin improves the antisaccade performance. The treated group is hardly different from a control group.

Effects of daily practice in ADHD

As in dyslexia, daily practice improves the antisaccade performance of ADHD children. There are only small effects of Ritalin on the success of the training. When tested without Ritalin the positive effects of training were still present.

Whether the training is done with ritalin or without does not make much of a difference. The training effects remain when ritalin is no longer used.

Studies

Klein C, Fischer Jr B, Fischer B, Hartnegg K (2002)
Effects of methylphenidate on saccadic responses in patients with ADHD
Exp Brain Res 145: 121-125
(abstract)

Canan Karatekin
Improving antisaccade performance in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Exp Brain Res 174: 2 (2006)
(abstract)

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