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Electroencephalogram ¿/ß ratio and arousal in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence of independent processes

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background

    For nearly 20 years, the theta/beta power ratio in the electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used within the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) literature as a marker of central nervous system (CNS) arousal, underpinning current models of the disorder. However, this usage has not been validated. We aimed to directly test the theta/beta ratio as a marker of arousal within this population.

    Methods

    Resting state EEG activity was investigated as a function of CNS arousal in two age-matched groups of boys (each n = 30), with and without ADHD. Arousal was defined in terms of skin conductance level (SCL), which has a long history as a measure of CNS arousal.

    Results

    Relative theta/beta ratio were elevated, and SCL and relative theta/beta power were reduced, in the ADHD group compared with control subjects. In both groups, mean theta/beta level correlated negatively with SCL. There was no significant correlation between the theta/beta ratio and SCL.

    Conclusions

    These data contradict the supposed linkage between the theta/beta ratio and arousal in ADHD, confirming previous results from normal children. They suggest the need for reevaluation of current models of the disorder and reconceptualization of existing EEG data from both normal and atypical populations.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Barry, R. J., Clarke, A. R., Johnstone, S. J., McCarthy, R. & Selikowitz, M. (2009). Electroencephalogram ¿/ß ratio and arousal in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence of independent processes. Biological Psychiatry, 66 (4), 398-401.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-67651026870

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/hbspapers/3333

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 398

End Page


  • 401

Volume


  • 66

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.elsevier.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505750/description#description

Abstract


  • Background

    For nearly 20 years, the theta/beta power ratio in the electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used within the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) literature as a marker of central nervous system (CNS) arousal, underpinning current models of the disorder. However, this usage has not been validated. We aimed to directly test the theta/beta ratio as a marker of arousal within this population.

    Methods

    Resting state EEG activity was investigated as a function of CNS arousal in two age-matched groups of boys (each n = 30), with and without ADHD. Arousal was defined in terms of skin conductance level (SCL), which has a long history as a measure of CNS arousal.

    Results

    Relative theta/beta ratio were elevated, and SCL and relative theta/beta power were reduced, in the ADHD group compared with control subjects. In both groups, mean theta/beta level correlated negatively with SCL. There was no significant correlation between the theta/beta ratio and SCL.

    Conclusions

    These data contradict the supposed linkage between the theta/beta ratio and arousal in ADHD, confirming previous results from normal children. They suggest the need for reevaluation of current models of the disorder and reconceptualization of existing EEG data from both normal and atypical populations.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Barry, R. J., Clarke, A. R., Johnstone, S. J., McCarthy, R. & Selikowitz, M. (2009). Electroencephalogram ¿/ß ratio and arousal in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence of independent processes. Biological Psychiatry, 66 (4), 398-401.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-67651026870

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/hbspapers/3333

Number Of Pages


  • 3

Start Page


  • 398

End Page


  • 401

Volume


  • 66

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.elsevier.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505750/description#description