Vollenweider Holstein Eich

Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik » Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. F. X. Vollenweider » Vollenweider Holstein Eich

Completed research project

Title / Titel Relationship between sensorimotor gating, cognition and psychopathology in ADHD patients and healthy volunteers
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an early onset disorder by marked and pervasive inattention, overactivity, and impulsiveness. Deficient early information processing in ADHD patients is thought to result in sensory overload which in turn may underlay ADHD symptoms. A fundamental feature of early information processing is the ability to gate extraneous stimuli. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex and suppression of the P50 auditory evoked potential (P50) are considered operational measures of sensorimotor and sensory gating, and have shown to be impaired in several psychiatric disorders. Although symptoms in ADHD patients might be linked to impaired gating, studies investigating PPI and P50 in these patients are scant. It still remains an empirical question to what extent deficient gating underlies ADHD symptoms.
On the other hand there is proven evidence that adult ADHD is associated with cognitive deficits in attention, working memory and executive functions. Recent evidence suggests that some of the cognitive deficits may be due do deficits in sensory gating.
Although psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate (MPH) are the primary treatment approach for ADHD, recent evidence indicates that the novel wake-promoting agent modafinil (MF) might be as effective in the treatment of ADHD.
To further clarify the relationship between sensory gating and cognitive processes as well as the effect of MF in the treatment of ADHD, within one and a half year 40 adult patients suffering from DSM-IV ADHD will be recruited and randomly allocated to treatment with MF [n=20] or MPH [n=20]. In a longitudinal design gating, cognition and psychopathology will be assessed at the beginning and after eight weeks of treatment. Healthy control subjects [n=20] without any medication will be used as a comparison group.
To our knowledge, no other study has investigated PPI, P50 and cognitive functioning in the same ADHD subjects. The study will increase our knowledge about the complex relationships between information-processing, specific cognitive impairments and psychopathologic symptoms in ADHD patients. A better understanding of the effect of medication on sensory gating and cognitive processes may also help to tailor a more sophisticated approach to the cognitive impairments in ADHD patients. The study may lead to alternative pharmacological treatments with less addictive potential as commonly seen with amphetamine-derivates such as MPH.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe sensory gating, cognition, psychopathology, PPI, P50, ADHD, EEG-ERP
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. F.X. Vollenweider (Project Leader)
MS D. Holstein (Project Leader)  
Prof. D. Eich (Project Leader)  
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Foundation, Private Sector (e.g. Industry)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof- M. Gexer, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego United States
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jan 2008 to Feb 2013