Working memory training: A randomized controlled treatment study in young ADHD children

Title: Working memory training: A randomized controlled treatment study in young ADHD children

Institution: Karakter University Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Nijmegen)

Investigator(s): Dr. Dorine Slaats

Program: Cogmed JM

Background & Aim: Although there is mounting evidence for the efficacy of working memory (WM) training in ADHD, several methodological limitations (small sample size, no randomization, small range of performed neurocognitive tasks, and weak diagnostic procedure) make further research necessary. Above that, until now, there are no studies measuring the efficacy of WM training in the range of 4 ½ till 8 years of age. Preschoolers are of special interest because it is often the period of first clinical complaints. Lack of striking evidence of efficacy of psychostimulants in this group and lack of research regarding the long-term effects of stimulant medication on children’s physical and neurological development make parents unwilling to give their child medication. So, alternative non-pharmacological based therapies are needed. This study will examine whether WM training is able to reduce symptoms of ADHD and to improve neurocognitive and neural performance in young children with ADHD.

Population & Sample Size: N = 100 children with ADHD (& PDD-NOS), ages 5 -7 years

Design: Randomized, Placebo controlled, Double-blinded, Test-retest, 6 month follow-up