Working Memory Low in Children with ADHD

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder performed worse than children without the disorder on tests of working memory--an important factor in learning and academic success, according to the results of a case-controlled study of 64 children aged 7-12 years.

In the study, 35 children with ADHD (24 males and 11 females) and 29 healthy controls (6 males and 23 females) were asked to perform the Digit Span test, which assesses working memory. Working memory allows a person to receive, store, and retrieve information on a temporary basis, said Dr. Kanchana Roychoudhury, a pediatrician at Flushing (N.Y.) Hospital Medical Center.

The Digit Span test comprises digit span forward (DSF) and digit span backward (DSB) tasks. In DSF, a list of random numbers is read aloud and, at the end of a sequence, the child is asked to recall the items in order. The test begins with two or three numbers, increasing until the child commits an error. In DSB, the child must recall the list of digits in reverse order. …