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Monday, March 31, 2008

Spectral Analysis of REM Sleep EEG in Boys With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Gingras M A, Labrosse M, Chevrier E, Lageix P, Guay M C, Braun C M J, Godbout R Hôp. Rivière-des-Prairies, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Introduction: EEG studies performed in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during waking unsystematically point toward abnormalities in frontal, temporal, parietal as well as occipital regions. In order to control for some of the methodological shortcomings of previous studies, we recorded the EEG of ADHD boys during REM sleep, a state of endogenous activation of the thalamo-cortical loop.

Method: Six boys diagnosed with ADHD (age: 10.3 ± 1.2) were recorded for two consecutives nights using a full EEG montage (Fp1, Fp2, F7, F8, C3, C4, T3, T4, P3, P4, O1 and O2). Comorbidity was an exclusion criterion. Methylphenidate was withdrawn for at least 48 hours in the three boys that were previously exposed to treatment. The ADHD group was compared to six healthy boys (age: 10.5 ± 1.8). Spectral analysis of night 2 EEG activity was performed on the first three REM periods. Quantified EEG analysis was performed on 45 four-second artifacts free epochs of REM sleep, equally distributed over the first three REM periods. Results were compared with a Group x EEG band ANOVA for each electrode followed by LSD post hoc tests.

Results: The main finding was that ADHD boys generated less slow activity (0.75-2.25 Hz) than controls, occurring selectively at frontal recording sites: Fp1 (p<.02), F7 (p<.006) and F8 (p<.06).

Conclusion: These results suggest the existence of an impairment of the thalamo-frontocortical loop in ADHD.

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