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ADHD-Treatment: Evaluation of Different Treatment Methods for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Contact: Fabian Kattlun, M.Sc.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Children with ADHD have - among further difficulties - problems in attending to cognitive tasks, sitting still and listening to others. Furthermore, they often experience motor problems. An important factor for successfully coping with ADHD disorder is adequate parenting as ADHD patients benefit from set routines on a daily basis. Taking these issues into account, the treatment study primarily investigates the effects of a parental training regimen as well as a physiotherapeutic intervention designed to improve children’s motor abilities. Neurophysiological (EEG), behavioral (graphomotor), as well as questionnaire data will be compared and analyzed.

Inclusion criteria: 

  • boys & girls
  • age 8-14 years
  • AD(H)D
  • for physiotherapeutic intervention: problems in motor skills (difficulties tying shoes), shaky handwriting, 

    problems with catching ball etc.)

Pilot Study: Establishing Adult Neurofeedback to Improve Parental Executive Functions

Contact: Fabian Kattlun, M.Sc.

Research suggests that parents of AD(H)D children often lack appropriate executive functions to provide adequate parenting. The pilot study seeks to improve parental executive functions by establishing and validating an adult neurofeedback paradigm. Neurophysiological and behavioral data will be analyzed. Provided that adult neurofeedback proves to be beneficial, a future study will investigate the effects of adult neurofeedback training on children’s and adolescent‘s externalizing symptoms. The ultimate goal is to establish adult neurofeedback as an effective treatment method for AD(H)D patients.

Inclusion criteria:

  • parents of kids with diagnosed AD(H)D (ICD-10-diagnosis: F90.0, F90.1, F98.8)

Emotion regulation and structural alterations in ADHD and (comorbid) ODD/CD (EmLe)

PI: Prof. Veit Roessner, Prof. Michael Smolka (Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)


Involved at KJP Dresden: Dr. Nora Vetter, Dr. Judith Buse, Lea Backhausen M.Sc.


About 4% of all children and adolescents receive the diagnosis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These children suffer from deficits in attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Around 60% of those children and adolescents are additionally affected by a comorbid oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or a conduct disorder (CD). ODD is defined by developmentally inappropriate, negativistic, defiant, and disobedient behavior toward authority figures and is often a precursor for the more severe CD, which is characterized by aggression, deceitfulness/theft, property destruction and rules violation.

Apart from these behavioral problems, children with ADHD and/or ODD/CD often misunderstand social situations and show emotional lability. Therefore, patients with ADHD and/or ODD/CD might also suffer from a disturbed processing and regulation of emotion.

The aim of this study is to increase the knowledge about the functioning of the meso-cortico-limbic system and emotion regulation in ADHD and ODD/CD. In order to identify relevant processes of their pathogenesis we investigate and compare boys with “pure” ADHD, “pure” ODD/CD, ADHD and a comorbid ODD/CD as well as typically developing boys.

First findings from an emotional attention task with positive, negative, and neutral emotional distractors demonstrate increased activation in boys with AD(H)D relative to typically developing boys during the negative valenced stimuli in an emotional processing network comprising the left amygdala and the left anterior insula reaching into the inferior frontal gyrus. This indicates higher emotional saliency and distractibility in ADHD specifically when faced with negative emotional distractors, potentially related to the core symptom emotional liability.

Additionally, alterations in structural gray and white matter, especially in fronto-striatal and fronto-cerebellar systems, were found in ADHD and/or ODD/CD. It remains unclear whether these alterations purely reflect structural alterations of one of the two disorders or whether findings are biased by high comorbidity rates.

Now we aim to investigate the structural profile of pure and comorbid AD(H)D spanning different indices, i.e. subcortical and cortical volume, cortical thickness, and surface area. We further aim to disentangle disorder-specific etiological contributions regarding structural brain alterations and investigate how these relate to symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and disobedient and aggressive behavior.

Inclusion criteria:

  • boys
  • age 12-17 years
  • AD(H)D (ICD-10 diagnosis F90.0, F98.8,, F90.1) OR/AND
  • ODD (ICD-10 diagnosis F91.0, F91..1 F91.2, F91.8, F91.9, F92.0, F92.8, F92.9)

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CAPPLab - Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie  und


Schubertstr. 42

01307 Dresden


Contact Info

+49 351 458 7168

Schubertstraße 42, 01307 Dresden