Aim: Atomoxetine, approved in Japan for the treatment of pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in April 2009, is a nonstimulant that is thought to act presynaptically via the inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a non-invasive optical tool that can be used to study oxygenation and hemodynamic changes in the cerebral cortex. The present study examined the effects of a clinical dose of atomoxetine on changes in prefrontal hemodynamic activity in children with ADHD, as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy using the Stroop Color-Word Task.
Methods: Ten children with ADHD participated in the present study. We used 24-channel near-infrared spectroscopy to measure the relative concentrations of oxyhemoglobin in the frontal lobes of participants in the drug-naïve condition and those who had received atomoxetine for 8 weeks. Measurements were conducted every 0.1 s during the Stroop Color-Word Task. We used the ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version (Home Version) to evaluate ADHD symptoms.
Results: We found a significant decrease in ADHD Rating Scale-IV-Japanese version scores, from 30.7 to 22.6 (P=0.003). During the Stroop Color-Word Task, we found significantly higher levels of oxyhemoglobin changes in the prefrontal cortex of participants in the atomoxetine condition compared with those in the drug-naïve condition.
Conclusions: This increase in oxyhemoglobin changes might indicate an intensified prefrontal hemodynamic response induced by atomoxetine. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a sensitive tool for measuring the pharmacological effects of atomoxetine in children with ADHD.
Keywords: atomoxetine; functional neuroimaging study; near-infrared spectroscopy; pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; prefrontal hemodynamic response.
© 2014 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2014 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.