Neurocognitive predictors of ADHD outcome: A 6-year follow-up study.


Although a broad array of neurocognitive dysfunctions are associated with ADHD, it is unknown whether these dysfunctions play a role in the course of ADHD symptoms. The present longitudinal study investigated whether neurocognitive functions assessed at study-entry (mean age = 11.5 years, SD = 2.7) predicted ADHD symptom severity and overall functioning 6 years later (mean age = 17.4 years, 82.6 % = male) in a carefully phenotyped large sample of 226 Caucasian participants from 182 families diagnosed with ADHD-combined type. Outcome measures were dimensional measures of ADHD symptom severity and the Kiddie-Global Assessment Scale (K-GAS) for overall functioning. Predictors were derived from component scores for 8 domains of neurocognitive functioning: working memory, motor inhibition, cognitive inhibition, reaction time variability, timing, information processing speed, motor control, intelligence. Effects of age, gender, and pharmacological treatment were considered. Results showed that better working memory predicted lower ADHD symptom severity (R2 = 3.0 %), and less reaction time variability predicted better overall functioning (higher K-GAS-score, R2 = 5.6 %). Predictors were still significant with baseline behavior included in the models. The role of neurocognitive functioning in the long term outcome of ADHD behavior is discussed.