Executive Functions in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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Objective: To examine the association between weaknesses in executive functions and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Method: Empirical studies examining executive functions in ADHD samples were reviewed, with particular attention to results of recent meta-analyses. 

Results: ADHD is associated with impaired performance on measures of response inhibition, working memory, and other aspects of executive functions, yet data also suggest significant neuropsychological variability within and across ADHD samples. 

Conclusion: ADHD may be best conceptualized as a neuropsychologically heterogeneous condition. More work is needed to characterize this heterogeneity and its clinical and pathophysiologic implications.

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(suppl 8):21-26