High Yield of Screening for ADHD in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

J Atten Disord. 2021 Jun;25(8):1120-1128. doi: 10.1177/1087054719886359. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


Objective: ADHD is common in patients with epilepsy, but adult patients with possible epilepsy are not routinely screened for ADHD. We aimed to characterize the results of two validated screening tools in the setting of an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). Method: This study utilized the validated Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale version 1.1 (ASRS) and Conners Continuous Performance Test, third edition (CPT-III) to screen patients who were admitted to the EMU at a Level 4 epilepsy center. Patients with epileptic seizures (ES) were compared with patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). Results: In all, 40.6% of patients screened positive using the ASRS. A significantly greater proportion of patients with PNES (63.6%) screened positive compared with patients with ES (27.8%, Fisher's exact test, p = .005). Positive ASRS screens showed no significant association with positive CPT screens (chi-square test, p = .146). Conclusion: Adult patients admitted to the EMU are at a high risk of comorbid attention deficits.

Keywords: ADHD; ASRS; CPT-III; epilepsy; psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / epidemiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy* / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Seizures