The Resting Electrophysiological Profile in Adults With ADHD and Comorbid Dysfunctional Anger
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Although dysfunctional anger is not a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision [DSM-IV-TR]) diagnosis, it sometimes presents as a primary clinical complaint and as a comorbid feature in a subset of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). No known studies have examined electroencephalographic (EEG) profiles in adults with comorbid dysfunctional anger and ADHD (ADHD + anger). Resting EEG was recorded in 14 ADHD + anger adults (11 males) and 14 controls. Relative power was assessed at standard frequencies, as was frontal absolute α power asymmetry. A modest increase was noted in β1 power in the ADHD + anger group. Unexpectedly, relatively decreased left (or increased right) frontocortical activity (α assessed) was noted in the ADHD + anger group, which was also characterized by a more diffuse θ/β ratio scalp distribution. Nonmedicated ADHD + anger adults exhibited modest resting cortical hyperarousal, consistent with the findings in a subset of children with ADHD characterized by anger-associated problems. The unexpected frontal α asymmetry may reflect enhanced activity of frontal inhibitory mechanisms.
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