EEG source localization and attention differences between children exposed to drugs in utero and those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A pilot study

  • Lauren Kelley 1) Knoxville Neurofeedback Group; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; 2) Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee, USA
  • Whitney Strunk 1) Knoxville Neurofeedback Group, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; 2)Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • Rex L Cannon 1) Knoxville Neurofeedback Group; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; 2) SPESA Research Institute, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA
  • Jeffrey Leighton 1) SPESA Research Institute, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA; 2) Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Keywords: Intrauterine drug exposure, EEG, LORETA, sLORETA, attention deficits, neuroimaging


Introduction: Intrauterine drug exposure (IUDE) including neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a group of problems that occur in a newborn exposed to drugs in the womb.  Currently, there is no consensus on diagnostic criteria for addressing the cluster of problems present in children suffering from IUDE.  The current data sought to examine differences between IUDE and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) clients to elucidate specific differences between these groups in the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT-3/K-CPT) and EEG source localization data using standardized low-resolution electromagnetic brain tomography (sLORETA).  Methods: This study utilizes archived data from two groups 14 IUDE and 9 clients with standing diagnosis of ADHD between the ages of 4 and 13 without the presence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).  All clients completed a standard protocol to assess functional domains, including diagnostic interview, review of records, and tests of attention, executive functions, and psychological status.  IUDE clients at time of initial assessment were taking one or more medications.  ADHD clients consisted of medicated and unmedicated individuals.  Results: Significant differences were found between resting-state baseline sLORETA parameters in temporal, limbic, and precuneus regions.  Conclusions: IUDE presents a growing problem in the United States due to current opioid problems, and it is imperative to accurately classify these children according to this specific set of problems.  sLORETA assessment may be useful as one marker of IUDE.  Directions for future treatment paradigms are discussed as well as potential applications of neurofeedback and learning.

Author Biography

Rex L Cannon, 1) Knoxville Neurofeedback Group; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; 2) SPESA Research Institute, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA



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