Personalized medicine in ADHD and depression: Use of pharmaco-EEG

Martijn Arns*, Sebastian Olbrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This chapter summarises recent developments on personalised medicine in psychiatry with a focus on ADHD and depression and their associated biomarkers and phenotypes. Several neurophysiological subtypes in ADHD and depression and their relation to treatment outcome are reviewed. The first important subgroup consists of the ‘impaired vigilance’ subgroup with oftenreported excess frontal theta or alpha activity. This EEG subtype explains ADHD symptoms well based on the EEG Vigilance model, and these ADHD patients responds well to stimulant medication. In depression this subtype might be unresponsive to antidepressant treatments, and some studies suggest these depressive patients might respond better to stimulant medication. Further research should investigate whether sleep problems underlie this impaired vigilance subgroup, thereby perhaps providing a route to more specific treatments for this subgroup. Finally, a slow individual alpha peak frequency is an endophenotype associated with treatment resistance in ADHD and depression. Future studies should incorporate this endophenotype in clinical trials to investigate further the efficacy of new treatments in this substantial subgroup of patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectrophysiology and Psychophysiology in Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-12769-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-12768-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences


  • ADHD
  • Biomarker
  • Depression
  • Personalised medicine
  • Phenotype
  • QEEG


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