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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a developmental disorder associated with an ongoing pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Symptoms of ADHD can interfere with daily activities and relationships. Although the symptoms typically appear in childhood, ADHD can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Learn more about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Featured Studies

Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.


Efficacy of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for ADHD

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 1, 2022
Eligibility: 7 Years to 12 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, United States; University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States

This study is a large multisite randomized clinical trial to asses the efficacy of external trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS), a novel, minimal risk, non-invasive neuromodulation treatment, for ADHD in children ages 7-12 years old (N=180).

Study hypotheses address potential differences in ADHD symptoms over 4 weeks treatment with active vs. sham TNS in an expanded multi-site investigation; whether resting state fronto-parietal connectivity mediates TNS impact on ADHD symptoms; if changes in fronto-parietal activation, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG), predict TNS-related treatment outcomes; and whether a baseline cognitive profile similarly predicts response to TNS therapy.


A Peer-Delivered High School Preparatory Intervention for Students With ADHD

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 3, 2022
Eligibility: 13 Years to 16 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States

This study will test whether a peer-delivered intervention for high school students with ADHD outperforms enhanced school services as usual. Ninth grade students with ADHD (N=72) will be randomly assigned to the intervention (summer STRIPES) or the enhanced school services control group (SSU plus). Students will be assessed in the spring of 8th grade, fall of ninth grade, and spring of ninth grade. Primary outcomes will be GPA, Class Attendance, Disciplinary Incidents, and ADHD symptoms (parent and teacher report).


Investigation of Strategies to Reduce the Impact of the Relative Age Effect in Kindergarten

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 1, 2022
Eligibility: 4 Years to 5 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Center for Children and Families, Amherst, New York, United States

There is now clear evidence that children entering kindergarten, that are relatively young for the grade (e.g., born in the months immediately preceding the school entry cut-off) are at significantly more risk for receiving an ADHD diagnosis and being prescribed stimulant medication. These risks appear to be related solely to age of entry when other explanatory variables are controlled. This situation, termed the "Relative Age Effect"has potentially serious consequences for kindergarten children (e.g., greater likelihood of being prescribed psychoactive medication to control behavior).

The present proposal aims to develop a teacher intervention to attenuate the impact of the relative age effect on young kindergarteners with elevated ADHD symptoms, and test the correspondence between the hypothesized mechanisms and treatment outcomes related to ADHD (e.g., symptoms, impairment). Following intervention development and refinement, 60 children entering kindergarten in the fall, and young for the grade, will be randomly assigned to (1) Kindergarten as Usual (KAU); (2) a Relative Age Effect prevention intervention administered immediately; or (3) a Relative Age Effect prevention intervention administered mid-year. In the intervention groups, teachers will be introduced to the relative age effect, receive information on how to anchor behavioral ratings in developmental norms, and implement a positive behavioral support to support growth in the child across the kindergarten school year.

Primary aims will be to demonstrate the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention approach as well as the ability of the team to retain young children in a longitudinal trial. Further, the hypothesized mechanisms (e.g., improved neurocognitive functioning; improved teacher use of positive behavioral supports) will be measured and correspondence to hypothesized outcomes (e.g., reduced ADHD symptoms and impairment) will be evaluated. Anticipated benefits include attenuation of any negative effects for children who receive intervention, and risks include breach of confidentiality and worsening of symptoms initially if an intervention is instituted. The knowledge to be gained is important as it could reduce untoward outcomes for the relatively youngest children in the grade.


Pilot Testing PREschooler Care, Community Resources, Advocacy, Referral, Education (PRE-CARE)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: November 30, 2021
Eligibility: 16 Years and Older, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The goal of this proposed study is to pilot test a novel treatment model (PRE-CARE) addressing unmet social needs for families of preschool-age children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. The investigators will conduct an adaptive, pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the intervention with parents of 60 low-income children age 3-5 (36-71 months) with ADHD symptoms in order to: optimize intervention delivery; field test study logistics (e.g., recruitment, enrollment, randomization, retention); explore putative intervention mechanisms; and obtain estimates of study parameters to plan an appropriately powered RCT of the intervention.

The PRE-CARE intervention is adapted from Well Child Care, Evaluation, Community, Resources, Advocacy, Referral, Education (WE CARE), a screening and referral intervention that has been shown to be feasible and effective in addressing the family psychosocial stressors of low-income families seen in pediatric medical homes. Given the negative impact that socioeconomic stressors can have on the health and development of young children with ADHD symptoms, tailored interventions such as PRE-CARE may serve as a vital early intervention strategy to promote long-term well-being.


SKIP for PA Study: Team and Leadership Level Implementation Support for Collaborative Care

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: November 29, 2021
Eligibility: 18 Years and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

In a prior application (MH064372), the investigators' treatment research program (Services for Kids In Primary-care, SKIP) developed and tested a chronic care model-based intervention, called Doctor Office Collaborative Care (DOCC), that was found to be effective in the management of childhood behavior problems and comorbid ADHD. In the "SKIP for PA Study", the investigators propose to conduct a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of team- and practice leadership-level implementation strategies designed to enhance the use and uptake of DOCC in diverse pediatric primary care offices.


Adapting a Web-Based Professional Development for Mexican School Mental Health Providers Delivering Evidence-Based Intervention for ADHD and ODD

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: September 1, 2021
Eligibility: 5 Years and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): UCSF, San Francisco, California, United States

Neurodevelopmental disorders of inattention and disruptive behavior, such as Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), are among the most common youth mental health conditions across cultures. An efficacious and feasible solution to improving affected youth's ADHD/ODD is training existing school clinicians to deliver evidence-based intervention with fidelity. Despite initial promising results of training school clinicians to treat ADHD/ODD in settings suffering from high unmet need, such as Mexico, scalability is limited by a lack of researchers with capacity to train, monitor, and evaluate school clinicians in such efforts on a large scale. Thus, there is a need to develop more feasible interventions and training programs for school clinicians, as well as create a system with capacity for scalable training and evaluation, to combat the widespread impact ofADHD/ODD worldwide. Converting interventions and school clinician professional development programs for fully-remote delivery allows for more flexibility, accessibility, affordability, scalability, and promise for ongoing consultation than in-person options. Supporting scalable training for school clinicians could address a significant public health concern in Mexico, as only 14% of Mexican youth with mental health disorders receive treatment and less than half of those treated receive more than minimally adequate care. The study team is uniquely suited for this effort, given that they developed the only known school-homeADHD/ODD evidence-based intervention in Latin America-and-have developed a web-based training for U.S. school clinicians with promising preliminary results. The study team's prior studies and high levels of unmet need make Mexico an ideal location for this proposal; however, lessons learned could be used to expand scalable school clinician training for evidence-based intervention in other settings and/or for other disorders. Thus, this study focuses on conducting an open-trial of the fully-remote program and make iterative changes. It is predicted that: H1) school clinicians trained remotely will be satisfied and show improved evidence-based practice skills; H2)families and teachers participating remotely will be satisfied and youth will show improved ADHD/ODD; H3) observation/feedback from a 3-school open-trial will guide iterative changes to the remote program.


Helping Toddlers and Parents Together

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: April 22, 2021
Eligibility: 12 Months to 55 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Children's National Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Using stakeholder feedback (i.e., behavioral health providers & caregivers), the goal of this study is to develop a behavioral parenting program that focuses on both parent mental health and parenting for parents of toddlers (12-35 months old). Using a deployment focused intervention model, this study will : (1) develop an early parenting intervention for parents of at-risk toddlers which integrates a focus on parent mental health with evidence-based behavioral parenting strategies, and (2) examine context-specific factors related to the intervention, including feasibility and acceptability to design a more practice-ready intervention.


Treating Parents With ADHD and Their Young Children Via Telehealth: A Hybrid Type I Effectiveness-Implementation Trial

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 6, 2020
Eligibility: 3 Years to 65 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, United States; University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States

This study will compare the effectiveness of combined parental stimulant medication and behavioral parent training (BPT) versus BPT alone on child ADHD-related impairment (primary outcome), child ADHD and externalizing symptoms, time to child stimulant prescription (secondary child outcomes) and parental ADHD impairment, parental ADHD symptoms, parenting, and BPT engagement (parental outcomes/target mechanisms). This study will also assess the care delivery context and develop an implementation approach for treatment of families with a parent with ADHD and a child with elevated ADHD symptoms via telehealth in primary care sites providing pediatric care.


Brain Plasticity Underlying Acquisition of New Organizational Skills in Children

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: October 1, 2019
Eligibility: 8 Years to 12 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): NYU Langone Health, New York, New York, United States

Organizational, time management and planning (OTMP) skills deficits are impairing features of developmental disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), which compromise school performance and family relations. The manualized Organizational Skills Training program (OST) was designed to target children's specific OTMP deficits. However, the brain mechanisms of treatment-induced changes remain unknown. The current study combines a training intervention (OST) with non-invasive MRI imaging in a pre-/post-design in a randomized two-arm (treatment vs. waitlist) trial to address this question.


Virtual Reality Attention Management

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 2, 2016
Eligibility: 8 Years to 12 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): UC Davis MIND Institute, Sacramento, California, United States

Problems with distraction are widespread in the 21st century, but for people with developmental delays or behavioral challenges they can have more damaging effects. For example, susceptibility to distraction is associated with worse school and social performance, lower high school graduation rates, and increased incidence of serious accidents. The investigators' goal is to improve understanding of distractibility and develop a targeted treatment. The proposed intervention is based on models of habituation, which is a term that means reduced physiological and emotional response to a stimulus (e.g. moving object, or loud noise, etc.) as it is seen repeatedly. The investigators use virtual reality technology to show study participants distracting stimuli repeatedly in a virtual classroom setting, and their hypothesis states that participants will improve attention in the face of distraction by training with this technology intervention. The virtual classroom setting is especially relevant for children who have significant challenges with distractibility, such as children with ADHD. This intervention will likely be effective in helping individuals with other clinical disorders and perhaps the general population as well.


Brain Imaging of Childhood Onset Psychiatric Disorders, Endocrine Disorders and Healthy Volunteers

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: June 19, 1990
Eligibility: 3 Years and Older, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unlike X-rays and CT-scans does not use radiation to create a picture. MRI use as the name implies, magnetism to create pictures with excellent anatomical resolution. Functional MRIs are diagnostic tests that allow doctors to not only view anatomy, but physiology and function. It is for these reasons that MRIs are excellent methods for studying the brain.

In this study, researchers will use MRI to assess brain anatomy and function in X and Y chromosome variation, healthy volunteers, and patients with a variety of childhood onset psychiatric disorders. The disorders include attention deficit disorder, autism, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, childhood-onset schizophrenia, dyslexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, Sydenham's chorea, and Tourette's syndrome.

Results of the MRIs showing the anatomy of the brain and brain function will be compared across age, sex (gender), and diagnostic groups. Correlations between brain and behavioral measures will be examined for normal and clinical populations.