Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and neurocognitive correlates after childhood stroke

Jeffrey E. Max, Katherine Mathews, Facundo F. Manes, Brigitte A.M. Robertson, Peter T. Fox, Jack L. Lancaster, Amy E. Lansing, Amy Schatz, Nicole Collings

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


We investigated the frequency and neurocognitive correlates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and traits of this disorder (ADHD/Traits) after childhood stroke and orthopedic diagnosis in medical controls. Twenty-nine children with focal stroke lesions and individually matched children with clubfoot or scoliosis were studied with standardized psychiatric, intellectual, academic, adaptive, executive, and motivation function assessments. Lifetime ADHD/Traits were significantly more common in stroke participants with no prestroke ADHD than in orthopedic controls (16/28 vs. 7/29; Fisher's Exact p < .02). Lifetime ADHD/Traits in the orthopedic controls occurred exclusively in males with clubfoot (7/13; 54%). Participants with current ADHD/Traits functioned significantly worse (p < .005) than participants without current ADHD/Traits on all outcome measures. Within the stroke group, current ADHD/Traits was associated with significantly lower verbal IQ and arithmetic achievement (p < .04), more nonperseverative errors (p < .005), and lower motivation (p < .004). A principal components analysis of selected outcome variables significantly associated with current ADHD/Traits revealed "impaired neurocognition" and "inattention-apathy" factors. The latter factor was a more consistent predictor of current ADHD/Traits in regression analyses. These findings suggest that inattention and apathy are core features of ADHD/Traits after childhood stroke. This association may provide clues towards the understanding of mechanisms underlying the syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-829
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • ADHD
  • Apathy
  • Childhood stroke
  • Clubfoot
  • Cognition
  • Scoliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Neuroscience


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