EEG phenotypes predict treatment outcome to stimulants in children with ADHD

Martijn Arns*, Jay Gunkelman, Marinus Breteler, Desirée Spronk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study demonstrates that the EEG phenotypes as described by Johnstone, Gunkelman & Lunt are identifiable EEG patterns with good inter-rater reliability. Furthermore, it was also demonstrated that these EEG phenotypes occurred in both ADHD subjects as well as healthy control subjects. The Frontal Slow and Slowed Alpha Peak Frequency and the Low Voltage EEG phenotype discriminated ADHD subjects best from controls (however the difference was not significant). The Frontal Slow group responded to a stimulant with a clinically relevant decreased number of false negative errors on the CPT. The Frontal Slow and Slowed Alpha Peak Frequency phenotypes have different etiologies as evidenced by the treatment response to stimulants. In previous research Slowed Alpha Peak Frequency has most likely erroneously shown up as a frontal theta sub-group. This implies that future research employing EEG measures in ADHD should avoid using traditional frequency bands, but dissociate Slowed Alpha Peak Frequency from frontal theta by taking the individual alpha peak frequency into account. Furthermore, the divergence from normal of the frequency bands pertaining to the various phenotypes is greater in the clinical group than in the controls. Investigating EEG phenotypes provides a promising new way to approach EEG data, explaining much of the variance in EEGs and thereby potentially leading to more specific prospective treatment outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-438
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Integrative Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • EEG phenotypes
  • Frontal slow
  • Medication response
  • Personalized medicine
  • QEEG
  • Slow Alpha Peak Frequency


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