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Review

Neurotherapeutics for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Review

by 1,2,3,*, 1,2,4,†, 5,† and 5,6,7
1
Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neurosciences, King’s College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
2
Department of Social Genetics and Developmental Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neurosciences, King’s College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
3
Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Transcampus, Dresden University, 01307 Dresden, Germany
4
Department of Psychology, Wolverhampton University, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
5
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, 68159 Mannheim, Germany
6
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hospital of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Hospital University, University of Zürich, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
7
Neuroscience Center Zürich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Samuel Westwood and Pascal Aggensteiner contributed equally to second authorship.
Academic Editors: Giovanni Cirillo and Stefano Geuna
Cells 2021, 10(8), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10082156
Received: 15 June 2021 / Revised: 7 August 2021 / Accepted: 18 August 2021 / Published: 21 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroplasticity of Central Nervous System in Health and Disease)
This review focuses on the evidence for neurotherapeutics for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). EEG-neurofeedback has been tested for about 45 years, with the latest meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials (RCT) showing small/medium effects compared to non-active controls only. Three small studies piloted neurofeedback of frontal activations in ADHD using functional magnetic resonance imaging or near-infrared spectroscopy, finding no superior effects over control conditions. Brain stimulation has been applied to ADHD using mostly repetitive transcranial magnetic and direct current stimulation (rTMS/tDCS). rTMS has shown mostly negative findings on improving cognition or symptoms. Meta-analyses of tDCS studies targeting mostly the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex show small effects on cognitive improvements with only two out of three studies showing clinical improvements. Trigeminal nerve stimulation has been shown to improve ADHD symptoms with medium effect in one RCT. Modern neurotherapeutics are attractive due to their relative safety and potential neuroplastic effects. However, they need to be thoroughly tested for clinical and cognitive efficacy across settings and beyond core symptoms and for their potential for individualised treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); neurofeedback; EEG-neurofeedback; fMRI-neurofeedback; brain stimulation; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); neurofeedback; EEG-neurofeedback; fMRI-neurofeedback; brain stimulation; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rubia, K.; Westwood, S.; Aggensteiner, P.-M.; Brandeis, D. Neurotherapeutics for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Review. Cells 2021, 10, 2156. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10082156

AMA Style

Rubia K, Westwood S, Aggensteiner P-M, Brandeis D. Neurotherapeutics for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Review. Cells. 2021; 10(8):2156. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10082156

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rubia, Katya, Samuel Westwood, Pascal-M. Aggensteiner, and Daniel Brandeis. 2021. "Neurotherapeutics for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Review" Cells 10, no. 8: 2156. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10082156

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