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Electrophysiological correlates of improved executive function following EEG neurofeedback in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Electrophysiological correlates of improved executive function following EEG neurofeedback in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Authors: 
Marie-Pierre Deiber, Camille Ammann, Roland Hasler, Julien Colin, Nader Perroud, Tomas Ros
Year: 
2021
Journal: 
Clinical Neurophysiology
Abstract: 

Objective
Event-related potentials (ERPs) are reported to be altered in relation to cognitive processing deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, this evidence is mostly limited to cross-sectional data. The current study utilized neurofeedback (NFB) as a neuromodulatory tool to examine the ERP correlates of attentional and inhibitory processes in adult ADHD using a single-session, within-subject design.

Methods
We recorded high-density EEG in 25 adult ADHD patients and 22 neurotypical controls during a Go/NoGo task, before and after a 30-minute NFB session designed to down-regulate the alpha (8–12 Hz) rhythm.

Results
At baseline, ADHD patients demonstrated impaired Go/NoGo performance compared to controls, while Go-P3 amplitude inversely correlated with ADHD-associated symptomatology in childhood. Post NFB, task performance improved in both groups, significantly enhancing stimulus detectability (d-prime) and reducing reaction time variability, while increasing N1 and P3 ERP component amplitudes. Specifically for ADHD patients, the pre-to-post enhancement in Go-P3 amplitude correlated with measures of improved executive function, i.e., enhanced d-prime, reduced omission errors and reduced reaction time variability.

Conclusions
A single-session of alpha down-regulation NFB was able to reverse the abnormal neurocognitive signatures of adult ADHD during a Go/NoGo task.

Significance
The study demonstrates for the first time the beneficial neurobehavioral effect of a single NFB session in adult ADHD, and reinforces the notion that ERPs could serve as useful diagnostic/prognostic markers of executive dysfunction.

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