Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the frontal lobe syndrome

Brain Cogn. 1992 Sep;20(1):104-24. doi: 10.1016/0278-2626(92)90064-s.


The usefulness of frontal lobe (FL) dysfunction as a conceptual model for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was investigated. Twenty-four ADHD and 24 normal control (NC) children were tested using two batteries of tasks. The first was sensitive to FL deficits in motor control and problem solving skills. The second consisted of memory tasks sensitive to temporal lobe dysfunction. ADHD children differed significantly from NCs on measures of FL function, but not on tests of temporal lobe functions. Where norms were available for normal children on the same FL tests, ADHDs performed like 6- to 7-year-olds, despite their mean age of 10 years and minimum age of 8 years. The differential performance of ADHDs on tasks sensitive to FL and temporal lobe dysfunction supports the hypothesis that ADHD deficits are analogous to FL dysfunction and demonstrates that the children's deficits do not reflect generalized cognitive impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Problem Solving / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Research Design
  • Trail Making Test