Examining the Effect of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation and Cognitive Training on Processing Speed in Pediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Study

Ornella Dakwar-Kawar, Itai Berger, Snir Barzilay, Ephraim S. Grossman, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Mor Nahum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Processing Speed (PS), the ability to perceive and react fast to stimuli in the environment, has been shown to be impaired in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, it is unclear whether PS can be improved following targeted treatments for ADHD. Here we examined potential changes in PS following application of transcranial electric stimulation (tES) combined with cognitive training (CT) in children with ADHD. Specifically, we examined changes in PS in the presence of different conditions of mental fatigue. Methods: We used a randomized double-blind active-controlled crossover study of 19 unmedicated children with ADHD. Participants received either anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) or transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), while completing CT, and the administration order was counterbalanced. PS was assessed before and after treatment using the MOXO-CPT, which measures PS in the presence of various conditions of mental fatigue and cognitive load. Results: tRNS combined with CT yielded larger improvements in PS compared to tDCS combined with CT, mainly under condition of increased mental fatigue. Further improvements in PS were also seen in a 1-week follow up testing. Conclusion: This study provides initial support for the efficacy of tRNS combined with CT in improving PS in the presence of mental fatigue in pediatric ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number791478
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • CPT
  • cognitive fatigue
  • inhibitory control
  • processing speed
  • tDCS
  • tRNS
  • transcranial electrical stimulation

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