April 1981

Attention Deficit Disorder ('Minimal Brain Dysfunction') in AdultsA Replication Study of Diagnosis and Drug Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(4):449-456. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780290083009

• This study replicated an earlier one dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD, or minimal brain dysfunction) in adults. Subjects who met provisional operational criteria for adult ADD were entered in a randomassignment, parallel, double-blind trial of placebo and pemoline, a noneuphorigenic psychostimulant drug effective in children with ADD. There was improvement in both the pemoline group and the placebo group, but the difference in improvement was not statistically significant. When the analyses were confined to that subgroup of patients whose parents had described them in the 95th percentile of childhood "hyperactivity" or when the hyperactivity score was partialled out statistically, pemoline was demonstrably more effective than placebo. Revised operational criteria for adult ADD are proposed.