Atomoxetine and neuropsychological function in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: results of a pilot study

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2009 Dec;19(6):709-18. doi: 10.1089/cap.2008.0166.


This pilot longitudinal study using measures from parents and teachers evaluated the effects of flexible doses of atomoxetine (ATX) on neuropsychological and functional outcomes in 21 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (mean age, 8.0 +/- 1.3 years; inattentive subtype, 71.4%; combined subtype, 28.6%). Among 16 children completing 6 months of ATX treatment, neuropsychological function measured by the NEPSY instrument found significant improvement from baseline in the memory and learning domain (p = 0.01); this change was also seen in an age- and sex-matched healthy control group (p = 0.011). The patient group showed significant improvement on the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA-Ch) and parent and teacher versions of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which assess attentional and executive processes, respectively. Functional improvement was also observed on the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale-Parent Report (WFIRS-P) and parent and teacher versions of the ADHD Rating Scale (ADHDRS-IV), and the investigator-rated Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) scale evidenced reductions in ADHD symptoms. These findings suggest that potential benefits of ATX treatment may extend beyond reduction of core ADHD symptoms to amelioration of some neuropsychological and functional deficits.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Executive Function / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Propylamines / adverse effects
  • Propylamines / therapeutic use*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Propylamines
  • Atomoxetine Hydrochloride