Investigation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sub-types in children via EEG frequency domain analysis

Int J Neurosci. 2018 Apr;128(4):349-360. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1382493. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Aim of the study: To investigate the frequency domain effects and changes in electroencephalography (EEG) signals in children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Patients and methods: The study contains 40 children. All children were between the ages of 7 and 12 years. Participants were classified into four groups which were ADHD (n=20), ADHD-I (ADHD-Inattentive type) (n=10), ADHD-C (ADHD-Combined type) (n=10), and control (n=20) groups. In this study, the frequency domain of EEG signals for ADHD, subtypes and control groups were analyzed and compared using Matlab software. The mean age of the ADHD children's group was 8.7 years and the control group 9.1 years.

Results: Spectral analysis of mean power (μV2) and relative-mean power (%) was carried out for four different frequency bands: delta (0--4 Hz), theta (4--8 Hz), alpha (8--13 Hz) and beta (13--32 Hz). The ADHD and subtypes of ADHD-I, and ADHD-C groups had higher average power value of delta and theta band than that of control group. However, this is not the case for alpha and beta bands. Increases in delta/beta ratio and statistical significance were found only between ADHD-I and control group, and in delta/beta, theta/delta ratio statistical significance values were found to exist between ADHD-C and control group.

Conclusion: EEG analyzes can be used as an alternative method when ADHD subgroups are identified.

Keywords: ADHD subtypes; ADHD-C; ADHD-I; Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); theta/beta ratio (TBR).

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / classification*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Brain Waves / physiology*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spectrum Analysis