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    Altered Theta Beta ratio in infancy associates with later ADHD traits

    Begum Ali, Jannath and Goodwin, A. and Mason, Luke and Pasco, G. and Charman, T. and Johnson, Mark H. and Jones, Emily J.H. (2022) Altered Theta Beta ratio in infancy associates with later ADHD traits. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 63 (9), pp. 1057-1067. ISSN 0021-9630.

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    Background: Uncovering the neural mechanisms that underlie symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) requires studying brain development prior to the emergence of behavioural difficulties. One new approach to this is prospective studies of infants with an elevated likelihood of developing ADHD. Methods: We used a prospective design to examine an oscillatory EEG profile that has been widely studied in both children and adults with ADHD – the balance between lower and higher frequencies operationalised as the theta-beta ratio (TBR). In the present study, we examined TBR in 136 10-month-old infants (72 male, 64 female) with/without an elevated likelihood of developing ADHD and/or a comparison disorder (Autism Spectrum Disorder; ASD). Results: Infants with a first-degree relative with ADHD demonstrated lower TBR than infants without a first-degree relative with ADHD. Further, lower TBR at 10-months was positively associated with temperament dimensions conceptually related to ADHD at 2 years. TBR was not altered in infants with a family history of ASD. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration that alterations in TBR are present prior to behavioural symptoms of ADHD. However, these alterations manifest differently than those sometimes observed in older children with an ADHD diagnosis. Importantly, altered TBR was not seen in infants at elevated likelihood of developing ASD, suggesting a degree of specificity to ADHD. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that there are brain changes associated with a family history of ADHD observable in the first year of life.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, theta-beta ratio, infancy, Autism spectrum disorder, electroencephalography
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Jannath Begum Ali
    Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 12:36
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:14


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