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Pupil Size Tracks Attentional Performance In Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Pupil Size Tracks Attentional Performance In Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
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Wainstein G, Rojas-Líbano D, Crossley NA, Carrasco X, Aboitiz F, Ossandón T,


Wainstein G, Rojas-Líbano D, Crossley NA, Carrasco X, Aboitiz F, Ossandón T, (click to view)

Wainstein G, Rojas-Líbano D, Crossley NA, Carrasco X, Aboitiz F, Ossandón T,

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Scientific reports 2017 08 157(1) 8228 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-08246-w
Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis is based on reported symptoms, which carries the potential risk of over- or under-diagnosis. A biological marker that helps to objectively define the disorder, providing information about its pathophysiology, is needed. A promising marker of cognitive states in humans is pupil size, which reflects the activity of an ‘arousal’ network, related to the norepinephrine system. We monitored pupil size from ADHD and control subjects, during a visuo-spatial working memory task. A sub group of ADHD children performed the task twice, with and without methylphenidate, a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Off-medication patients showed a decreased pupil diameter during the task. This difference was no longer present when patients were on-medication. Pupil size correlated with the subjects’ performance and reaction time variability, two vastly studied indicators of attention. Furthermore, this effect was modulated by medication. Through pupil size, we provide evidence of an involvement of the noradrenergic system during an attentional task. Our results suggest that pupil size could serve as a biomarker in ADHD.

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