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Aberrant executive attention in unaffected youth at familial risk for mood disorders

Belleau, Emily L., Phillips, Mary, Birmaher, Boris, Axelson, David A. and Ladouceur, Cecile D. 2013. Aberrant executive attention in unaffected youth at familial risk for mood disorders. Journal of affective disorders 147 (1-3) , pp. 397-400. 10.1016/j.jad.2012.08.020

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BACKGROUND: Aberrant attentional processes in individuals with mood disorders - bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) - have been well documented. This study examined whether unaffected youth at familial risk for mood disorders would exhibit poor alerting, orienting, and executive attention relative to age-matched controls. METHODS: A sample of youth (8-17 years old) having one parent with either BD or MDD (Mood-Risk, n=29) and youth having healthy parents (HC, n=27) completed the Attention Network Test-Short version (ANT-S), which assesses alerting, orienting, and executive attention. RESULTS: Relative to HCs, the Mood-Risk group had significantly slower reaction times on an index of executive attention, but no differences on indices of alerting or orienting. There were no differences between the two at-risk groups (i.e., youth with BD parent vs. youth with MDD parent) on any ANT-S measure. LIMITATIONS: The current study is limited by its cross-sectional design, small sample size, and failure to control for familial environmental factors. CONCLUSIONS: The findings extend previous results indicating that altered executive attention may represent an endophenotype for mood disorders in at-risk youth.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 14:52

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