The aim of this prospective study was to examine whether neurocognitive performance of children aged 5-6 years distinguished children who were later diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or "borderline ADHD" from children without ADHD after adjustment for behavioral measures and to examine the influence of comorbid psychopathology. Out of a general population of 1,317 children, 366 children were selected on the basis of their scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Eighteen months later, the parents were interviewed using a standardized child psychiatric interview: 33 children were classified as ADHD and 75 children as borderline ADHD, and there were 258 children without ADHD. Children with rated ADHD were significantly impaired on measures of visuomotor ability and working memory compared to children without ADHD after adjustment for CBCL results. The performance of borderline ADHD children was in between that of children with and without ADHD. In addition, 4 groups of children were analyzed: 9 ADHD, 24 ADHD with comorbid oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), 59 ODD/CD, and 274 controls. Children with rated comorbid ADHD and ODD/CD performed significantly worse on these tasks compared to children with rated ODD/CD and control children while they did not differ from ADHD children. Our results imply that neurocognitive measures can contribute to the early identification of ADHD with and without comorbid ODD/CD.
Kalff, A. C., Hendriksen, J. G., Kroes, M., Vles, J. S. H., Steyaert, J. G. P. L. E., Feron, F. J. M., van der Aa-van Zeben, D. M. C. B., & Jolles, J. (2002). Neurocognitive performance of 5-and 6-year-old children who met criteria for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder at 18 months followup: results from a prospective population study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 30 (6), 589-598. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020859629994