Skip to content

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD, is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Children with ADHD have impaired functioning in multiple settings, including home, school, and in relationships with peers. If untreated, the disorder can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood. Learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD).

Join A Study
For opportunities to participate in NIMH research on the NIH campus, visit the clinical research website. Travel and lodging assistance available.

Featured Studies

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

School Health Implementation Network: Eastern Mediterranean

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: October 7, 2019
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Eligibility: Ages 8–13, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Background

An estimated 10-20% of children globally are affected by a mental health problem. Child mental health has been identified as a priority issue by the World Health Organization's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (WHO EMRO). Following consultations with international and regional experts and stakeholders, WHO EMRO developed an evidence-based School Mental Health Program (SMHP), endorsed by WHO EMRO member countries, including Pakistan. The federal and provincial health departments in Pakistan made recommendations for a phased implementation of the SMHP in a pilot district. In the formative phase of this program, a number of implementation challenges were identified by the stakeholders. Broadly, these included the need to operationalize and adapt the existing components of the intervention to the local context and to develop sustainable mechanisms for delivery of quality training and supervision.

Informed by the results of a formative phase investigations, the SHINE scale-up research team adapted the SMHP (henceforth called Conventional SMHP or cSMHP) to address these implementation challenges. The enhanced version of the intervention is called Enhanced School Mental Health Program (eSMHP). Enhancements to cSMHP have occurred at two levels: A) Content enhancements, such as a collaborative care model for engaging parents/primary caregivers, strategies for teacher's wellbeing, and adaptation and operationalization of particular clinical intervention strategies and B) Technological enhancements which include adaptation of the training manual for delivery using an online training platform, and a 'Chat-bot' to aid the implementation of intervention strategies in classroom settings.

Objectives

The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of eSMHP in reducing socio-emotional difficulties in school-going children, aged 8-13, compared to cSMHP in Gujar Khan, a rural sub-district of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

The secondary objectives are to compare the cost-effectiveness, acceptability, adoption, appropriateness (including cultural appropriateness), feasibility, penetration and sustainability of scaled-up implementation of eSMHP and cSMHP. It is hypothesized that eSMHP will prove to be both more effective and more scalable than cSMHP.

Study population

The research is embedded within the phased district level implementation of the cSMHP in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The study population will consist of children of both genders, aged 8-13 (n=960) with socio-emotional difficulties, studying in rural public schools of sub-district Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi.

Design

The proposed study design is a cluster randomized controlled trial (cRCT), embedded within the conventional implementation of the SMHP. Following relevant ethics committees and regulatory approvals, 80 eligible schools, stratified by gender, will be randomized into intervention and control arms with a 1:1 allocation ratio. Following informed consent from the parent/ primary caregiver, children will be screened for socio-emotional difficulties using Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). 960 children scoring > 12 on the teacher-rated SDQ total difficulty scores and > 14 on the parent-rated SDQ total difficulty scores will be recruited and equally randomized into intervention and control arms (480 in each arm).

Teachers in the intervention arm will receive training in eSMHP, whereas teachers in the active control will be trained in cSMHP. Trained teachers will deliver the program to children in their respective arms.

Outcome measures

Primary Outcome: The primary outcome is reduction in socio-emotional total difficulties scores, measured with the parent-rated SDQ, 9 months after commencing intervention delivery.

Secondary Outcomes: Implementation data on acceptability, adoption, appropriateness (including cultural appropriateness), feasibility, penetration and sustainability outcomes will be collected from children, parents/primary caregivers, head teachers and teachers. In addition, data will be collected on self-reported Psychological Outcome Profiles (PSYCHLOPS)-KIDS to measure progress on psycho-social problems and wellbeing; annual academic performance; classroom absenteeism, stigmatizing experiences and parent-teacher interaction. Data on teachers' sense of efficacy and subjective well-being, and on the schools' psychosocial environment profile will be collected. All secondary outcome data will be collected at baseline and 9 months after commencing intervention delivery.

Outcomes will be analyzed on an intention to treat basis. The role of various factors as potential mediators and moderators eSMHP effectiveness will be explored.

Cost-effectiveness evaluation of SMHP shall be evaluated in terms of costs associated with implementation of eSMHP compared with cSMHP.

A Novel fNIRS Neurofeedback Intervention for Enhancement of Working Memory in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 16, 2019
Location: Stanford, California
Eligibility: Ages 7–9, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The proposed study is to test and validate a novel intervention that integrates computerized cognitive training with real-time neuromonitoring and neurofeedback to enhance working memory by probing the individualized neural systems underlying working memory. We will test the proposed intervention on children with ADHD with working memory deficits. The R61 proof-of-concept phase will assess the target engagement, effective dose and feasibility.

School-Based Depression Prevention for Adolescents With ADHD

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 7, 2018
Location: College Park, Maryland
Eligibility: Ages 14–18, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this study is to develop a modified behavioral activation program in adolescents with ADHD to be implemented by school mental health providers in an urban, low-income school district. Subsequently we will examine its effectiveness in reducing depressive symptoms and improving emotion regulation and reward responsivity, compared to usual care.

Sleep Dysfunction and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Adolescent ADHD

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: August 31, 2016
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Eligibility: Ages 13–17, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

This study seeks to characterize sleep physiology in adolescents with and without Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its relationship to differential neurocognitive and clinical outcomes within these groups.

Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) Self-Activation in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: August 31, 2016
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Eligibility: Ages 18–45, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this study is to see if a non-medication intervention can increase motivation in individuals with ADHD by observing brain activity using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Virtual Reality Attention Management

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: June 2, 2016
Location: Sacramento, California
Eligibility: Ages 8–12, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

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.

Neuroimaging Study of Risk Factors for Adolescent Bipolar Disorder

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: November 30, 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Eligibility: Ages 10–18, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The main purpose of this study is to see the affects of the study medication called mixed amphetamine salts-extended release (MAS-XR) on brain function by taking brain pictures. The researchers also want to see if MAS-XR makes your child more or less likely to develop problems like acting out (i.e. periods of irritability, agitation, aggression).

MAS-XR is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, children and adolescents.

Psychological Treatments for Youth With Severe Irritability.

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: November 17, 2015
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Eligibility: Ages 8–18, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

Background:

When children have severe irritability and temper outbursts, they can be so cranky or angry that it leads to problems at home, in school, and with friends. This is called Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and there have been no psychological treatments developed specifically for children with this problem. Researchers think two forms of therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpretation Bias Training (IBT), might help children with DMDD.

Objective:

To test two whether IBT and CBT can decrease severe irritability in children and youth.

Eligibility:

Children 8-17 years old with DMDD. Their symptoms must have started before age 10.

Design:

Participants will be screened with a review of their symptoms. Parents and participants will answer questions.

Participants can do only one or both of these treatments if they wish. Those who wish to do both will start with IBT.

Participants who do CBT will have 12-16 weekly meetings of research talk therapy. A parent will participate in part of the sessions.

Participants will talk about what makes them irritable and how it affects them. They may be put in situations that might make them annoyed or irritable.

Participants will rate how intense their irritability is. Parents and participants will complete rating scales, questionnaires, and interviews.

Participants will do practice activities at home.

Participants doing IBT will have up to 14 sessions over 10 weeks.

Participants will view 15 faces, one at a time, on a computer. They will choose if the face looks happy or angry on a computer. Sometimes the computer gives feedback. Participants will complete some sessions at the NIH and some at home.

Participants and parents answer questions about their progress.

Assessment of Children With Tic Onset in the Past 6 Months

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: August 31, 2010
Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Eligibility: Ages 5–10, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this research is to study why most children who have tics never develop Tourette syndrome but some do. In other words, we aim to find features that may predict whose tics will go away and whose tics will continue or worsen, in children ages 5 through 10 years whose first tic occurred within the past 9 months.

Brain Imaging and Computer Games in Children With Either Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety or Healthy Controls

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: July 31, 2007
Location: East Providence, Rhode Island
Eligibility: Ages 7–17, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The purpose of this research is to learn more about how children with mental health problems, including bipolar disorder (BD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), differ from children without these problems. The investigators want to understand how these 4 groups of children differ in brain activity, function, and structure.