Paper in Clinical Neurophysiology
DF, Kohn, MR, Clarke, SD, Gordon, E, and Williams,
LM (2005b). Sex differences in adolescent ADHD: findings
from concurrent EEG and EDA. Clinical Neurophysiology,
Objective: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) occurs more frequently in male children and
adolescents than in females, with a ratio of approximately 3
to 1. We determined whether psychophysiological differences
are associated with the expression of ADHD in males and females,
using simultaneously recorded electroencephalography (EEG) and
electrodermal activity (EDA).
Methods: Quantitative EEG and EDA measures
were acquired simultaneously and continuously (2 min) during
an eyes closed resting condition for 70 ADHD adolescents (48
males, 22 females) and their age- and sex- matched controls.
Results: Males and females with ADHD were differentiated
by both EEG theta activity and EDA. ADHD males showed increased
theta (widespread), whereas ADHD females showed a localised
frontal enhancement of theta with reduced rate of EDA decrement.
These sex differences were unrelated to ADHD subtype.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that different
psychophysiological processes may underlie ADHD in each sex.
The profile of theta enhancement in ADHD males is consistent
with a developmental deviation model of ADHD, whereas ADHD in
females may be better understood within an arousal model, which
emphasizes both central and autonomic function.
Significance: These findings highlight the
potential for concurrent EDA measures to inform EEG studies
of ADHD, particularly in regard to sex differences.