Right prefrontal activation predicts ADHD and its severity: A TMS-EEG study in young adults

Itay Hadas, Aviad Hadar, Avi Lazarovits, Zafiris J. Daskalakis, Abraham Zangen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Here we bring a neurophysiological diagnostic tool, based on pathophysiologically-relevant brain region, that is critical for reducing the variability between clinicians, and necessary for quantitative measures of ADHD severity. Methods: 54 healthy and 57 ADHD adults participated in the study. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded when combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the right prefrontal cortex and also recorded during the Stop Signal task. Results: TMS evoked potentials (TEPs) and the event related potential (ERP) components in the Stop Signal task were found to be significantly reduced in ADHD relative to the matched healthy controls. Stop signal reaction time (SSRT) and stopping accuracy was found to correlate with the ERP signal, and ADHD severity correlated with the TEP signal. Cortical activity (early TEP and Stop Signal ERP) diagnostic model yielded accuracy of 72%. Conclusion: TEPs and ERPs reveal that right PFC excitability was associated with ADHD severity, and with behavioral impulsivity – as a hallmark of ADHD pathology. This electrophysiological biomarker supports the potential of objective diagnosis for ADHD. Significance: Such tools would allow better assessment of treatment efficacy and prognosis, may advance understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease and better the public's attitudes and stigma towards ADHD. Trial Registration: Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of the HLPFC Coil Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System in Treating Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01737476, ClinicalTrials.gov

Original languageEnglish
Article number110340
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2021


  • ADHD
  • Inhibition
  • Right prefrontal cortex
  • Stop signal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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