Age-related changes in the EEG in an eyes-open condition: II. Subtypes of AD/HD

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International Journal of Psychophysiology


This study investigated age-related changes in the EEG of subtypes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) compared with neurotypical controls, using an eyes-open resting condition. Two hundred and twenty five children between the ages of 5 and 16 years participated in this study. Groups consisted of AD/HD of the combined (AD/HDcom) and inattentive (AD/HDin) types, which were compared with controls for each of three age ranges: Young (5–8 years), Middle (9–12 years), and Old (13–16 years). The EEG was recorded and analyzed using AMLAB hardware and software, and Fourier transformed to provide estimates for total power, and absolute and relative power in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Compared to controls, the AD/HD groups had globally increased relative theta. Regional differences were found for absolute and relative alpha and beta. Compared to AD/HDcom, AD/HDin had globally reduced total power, absolute and relative theta, and absolute alpha. Regional differences only were found for absolute and relative delta, absolute beta, and relative alpha. No simple interactions were found for diagnostic factors with age. These results indicate that maturational effects can be observed between subtypes of AD/HD and controls in the eyes-open condition with similarities to those reported in eyes-closed conditions, although substantial differences are apparent in the maturation of fast wave activity, primarily alpha. These results provide evidence of maturational differences between subtypes of AD/HD in eyes-open conditions, and provide additional support for the suggestion that subtypes of AD/HD differ in severity rather than the nature of underlying neurological impairment.

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