InEmo: Interfering with Negative Emotions

Can we improve emotion regulation in adults with ADHD

While AD(H)D is generally known as a disorder characterized by deficits in attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, emotional dysregulation is considered a core symptom in adults with AD(H)D as well. While the first aim of the iNEMO study was to gain more insight in the neural mechanisms that underlie emotional dysregulation in adults with ADHD, we also wanted to test whether we could improve emotion regulation by targeting working memory processes. In contrast to our expectations and existing literature, however, we failed to demonstrate clear deficits in adults with ADHD in the neural pathways that underlie emotion regulation or working memory. These unexpected findings may be explained by the fact that we included a relatively well-functioning group of adults with ADHD as well as a well-matched control group. While the findings were unexpected, they do underline that the clinical profile, in terms of working memory and emotion regulation is complex and multifaceted in adults with ADHD, which should be taken into account in research and treatment.

The study was funded by Amsterdam Neuroscience and performed in collaboration with Anouk Schrantee, Antonia Kaiser,  Liesbeth Renemand and Taco de Vries.

You can find the scientific publication here: Targeting working memory to modify emotional reactivity in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study