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In Quest of Pathognomonic/Endophenotypic Markers of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Potential of EEG-Based Frequency Analysis and ERPs to Better Detect, Prevent and Manage ADHD


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic heritable developmental delay psychiatric disorder requiring chronic management, characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, hyperkinectivity and impulsivity. Subjective clinical evaluation still remains crucial in its diagnosis. Discussed are two key aspects in the "characterizing ADHD" and on the quest for objective "pathognomonic/endophenotypic diagnostic markers of ADHD". The first aspect briefly revolves around issues related to identification of pathognomonic/endophenotypic diagnostic markers in ADHD. Issues discussed include changes in ADHD definition, remission/persistence and overlapping-symptoms cum shared-heritability with its co-morbid cross-border mental disorders. The second aspect discussed is neurobiological and EEG-based studies on ADHD. Given the neurobiological and temporal aspects of ADHD symptoms the electroencephalograph (EEG) like NeuralScan by Medeia appears as an appropriate tool. The EEGs appropriateness is further enhanced when coupled with suitable behavior/cognitive/motor/psychological tasks/paradigms yielding EEG-based markers like event-related-potential (ERPs like P3 amplitudes and latency), reaction time variability (RTV), Theta:Beta ratio (TBR) and sensorimotor rhythm (SMR). At present, these markers could potentially help in the neurobiological characterization of ADHD and either help in identifying or lay the groundwork for identifying pathognomonic and/or endophenotypic EEG-based markers enabling its diagnosis, treatment and management.

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