Cognitive enhancers for the treatment of ADHD
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with multiple cognition-related phenotypic features in both children and adults. This review aims to clarify the role of cognition in ADHD and how prevailing treatments, which are often highly effective at reducing the clinical symptoms of the disorder, fare in modulating ADHD-related cognitive processes. First, we consider how the broad construct of cognition can be conceptualized in the context of ADHD. Second, we review the available evidence for how a range of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions have fared with respect to enhancing cognition in individuals affected by this pervasive disorder. Findings from the literature suggest that the effects across a broad range of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions on the characteristic symptoms of ADHD can be distinguished from their effects on cognitive impairments. As such the direct clinical relevance of cognition enhancing effects of different interventions is somewhat limited. Recommendations for future research are discussed, including the identification of cognition-related endophenotypes, the refinement of the ADHD clinical phenotype, and studying the difference between acute and chronic treatment regimens.