Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 64
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825315

Cortical excitability in patients with adult ADHD

P Eichhammer 1, R Laufkötter 1, B Langguth 1, E Frank 1, G Hajak 1
  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Universitär Regensburg, Deutschland

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in a paired pulse manner is an interesting tool for phenotyping psychiatric diseases. In this context, this method was successfully applied investigating drug-naive children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In contrast to age-matched healthy children, children with ADHD showed a significantly reduced intracortical inhibition (Moll et al., 2000).

For this reason, drug-naive adults with ADHD were investigated by means of paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. In accordance with the results of Moll et al., adults with ADHD demonstrated a deficient cortical excitability, which was additionally influenced by comorbid disorders or earlier treatments.

In sum, paired pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation offers a new possibility for phenotyping psychiatric disorders by using a non invasive technique.

Moll, G.H. et al. Deficient intracortical inhibition in drug-naive children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is enhanced by methylphenidate. Neurosci Lett. 2000, 21;284(1–2):121–5.