Studies of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have suggested that they have deficient response inhibition, but findings concerning the neural correlates of inhibition in this patient population are inconsistent. We used the Stop Signal task and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare neural activation associated with response inhibition between adults with ADHD (N=35) and healthy comparison subjects (N=62), and in follow-up tests to examine the effect of current medication use and symptom severity. There were no differences in Stop Signal task performance or neural activation between ADHD and control participants. Among the ADHD participants, however, significant differences were associated with current medication, with individuals taking psychostimulants (N=25) showing less stopping related activation than those not currently receiving psychostimulant medication (N=10). Follow-up analyses suggested that this difference in activation was independent of symptom severity. These results provide evidence that deficits in inhibition related neural activation persist in a subset of adult ADHD individuals, namely those individuals currently taking psychostimulants. These findings help to explain some of the disparities in the literature, and advance our understanding of why deficits in response inhibition are more variable in adult, as compared with child and adolescent, ADHD patients. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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