Awareness about Executive Function

Our in-house experts say...

📍  Executive Function” – what does that mean?

The term Executive Function is used to refer to brain circuits that prioritize, integrate, and regulate other cognitive functions. Self regulating one’s thoughts, emotions, attention and actions into In a nutshell, ADHD is about not being able to organize and self-regulate one’s thoughts, emotions, attention and actions into something productive and useful for everyday life and the future There are 6 executive functions. They are all impaired in ADHD. (Activation, Focus, Effort, Memory, Action, Emotion). Downloadable PDF available here (created by experts from Belgium and Romania).

Articles & Research by Experts

📍 What Is Executive Function? 7 Deficits Tied to ADHD – By Russell Barkley, Ph.D

What is executive function? The cognitive skills that help us plan, prioritize, and execute complex tasks are commonly tied to ADHD in children and adults. Here, ADHD authority Russell Barkley, Ph.D. explains how executive dysfunction originates in the ADHD brain and what these deficits typically look like. Full article here

Credit to ADDITUDE Mag 

📍 Describing Six Aspects of a Complex Syndrome ~ Read more

📍 Executive function impairments in high IQ children and adolescents with ADHD ~ Read more

📍 DSM IV ADHD and executive function impairments ~ Read more

📍 Comparison of Two Measures of Working Memory Impairments in 220 Adolescents and Adults With ADHD ~ Read more

📍 ADHD and executive function impairments. 

People with ADHD find it much more difficult to make themselves pay attention unless the task is one that is immediately interesting to them. An under- standing of the impairments experienced by persons with ADHD requires detailed clinical inquiry of indi- vidual patients regarding their performance in a vari- ety of tasks; absence of impairment in a few specific domains does not rule out ADHD diagnosis if the impairments are chronically present in most other areas of functioning.

Current research suggests that ADHD is essentially a developmental impairment of the brain’s executive functions-the management system of the brain’s cognitive operations.

Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D. in Johns Hopkins University Advanced Studies in Medicine (2002) Vol. 2 (25): pp. 910-914. 


View the full ADHD and executive function impairments. research paper here

📍  Executive Function & ADHD : Implications of two conflicting views

Increasingly ADD/ADHD is being seen as a disorder involving impairment of the brain’s management system, its executive functions. However, among researchers there are two very different viewpoints about how executive functions are involved in this disorder. Some see impaired executive functions as impaired in only about 30% of those with ADHD.

The alternative view, advocated by Dr. Brown and by Dr. Russell Barkley, claims that ADHD is essentially a name for developmentally impaired executive functions, that all those with ADHD have such impairments. The difference between these two views rests upon how executive functions are to be measured. This article describes the differing viewpoints and argues that the “ADHD = developmental impairment of executive functions” view is a more adequate way to understand what this disorder really involves.

Reprinted with permission from the March, 2006 issue of the International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.

Get the full Executive Function & ADHD : Implications of two conflicting views research paper here 
📍 Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults with ADHD.
The study shows that extremely bright adults can suffer from ADHD in ways that seriously interfere with their higher education and/or employment. The study highlights impairments of working memory, processing speed, and a variety of other executive functions that can be assessed with standardized measures. It also notes that many of these high IQ adults did not show significant ADHD impairments until they got into high school or college.
This study demonstrates that adults with high IQ can fully meet DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD and that they tend to suffer significant impairments on executive functions measured by three standardized tests and five separate clusters of a normed self-report scale. Results of this study are fully consistent with findings from another study, currently in review, that used similar measures with a sample of 117 children and adolescents with high IQ and ADHD. Another strength is that our data include reports of percentages of subjects who scored above or below the
stipulated score cut-points. This provides information that may be more useful to clinicians assessing individual patients than would be group means which may submerge individual differences.
Thomas E. Brown, Philipp C. Reichel, and Donald M. Quinlan in Journal of Attention Disorders. (2009) 13 (2) 161-167. Thomas E. Brown, Philipp C. Reichel, and Donald M. Quinlan in Journal of Attention Disorders. (2009) 13 (2) 161-167.
Get the full Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults with ADHD research here

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