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Computerized training of working memory is a promising therapeutic strategy in ADHD
Date:10/14/2007

Terms applied to ADHD include:

  • attention-deficit disorder (ADD)
  • hyperactivity
  • hyperkinesis
  • hyperkinetic syndrome
  • minimal brain dysfunction and
  • minimal brain damage.

ADHD & Working Memory

Research on ADHD has, mostly, been descriptive and atheoretical. The imperative to discover the genetic and environmental risk factors for ADHD is motivating the search for quantifiable intermediate constructs, termed endophenotypes. It could be concluded that such endophenotypes should be solidly grounded in the neurosciences.

Three such endophenotypes a specific abnormality in reward-related circuitry; deficits in temporal processing that result in high intrasubject intertrial variability; and deficits in working memory Are most amenable to integrative collaborative approaches that aim to uncover the causes of ADHD.

Working memory (WM) capacity is the ability to retain and manipulate information during a short period of time. This ability underlies complex reasoning and has generally been regarded as a fixed trait of the individual. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) represent one group of subjects with a WM deficit, attributed to an impairment of the frontal lobe.

A previous preliminary study indicated that training of WM tasks can enhance executive functioning including working memory, response inhibition, and reasoning in children with ADHD (Klingberg et al., 2002b).

A randomized, controlled, double-blind trial to investigate the effect of improving working memory by computerized, systematic practice of WM tasks including 53 children with ADHD revealed a significant treatment effect both at intervention and follow-up (Klingberg et al., 2005).

The method evaluated in this study differs from that of previous ones in that it focuses entirely on training WM tasks. Moreover, the training
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Contact: Professor Torkel Klingberg
torkel.klingberg@ki.se
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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