EEG coherence in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: differences between good and poor responders to methylphenidate

Psychiatry Res. 2010 Dec 30;180(2-3):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 May 21.


This retrospective study investigated differences in regional derivations of EEG coherence between good and poor responders to methylphenidate (MPH) in children (aged 8-12 years) with the combined type of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). Participants included groups of good and poor male MPH responders and an aged-matched group of male controls. An eyes-closed, resting electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from 21 electrode sites. Coherence was calculated from eight intrahemispheric and eight interhemispheric electrode pairs, for the delta, theta, alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, the AD/HD participants had enhanced laterality over short-medium inter-electrode distances, and elevated frontal interhemispheric coherences, in the theta band. Good MPH responders had higher intrahemispheric coherences than poor MPH responders over short-medium and long inter-electrode distances in the beta band. Enhanced laterality at short-medium inter-electrode distances suggests that the AD/HD children may have a developmental lag in short-axonal connections in the left hemisphere. Elevated frontal interhemispheric theta coherence consistently indicates some frontal dysfunction in AD/HD. The beta coherence differences found between good and poor MPH responders could indicate that good MPH responders have some type of structural dysfunction associated with cortical connections involved in attention/arousal.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / pathology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects*
  • Electrooculography / methods
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate