ADHD in adulthood

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We are especially interested in the research of neuropsychobiological mechanisms of ADHD at (epi)genetic, cellular ( neuronal) and network levels and participate in clinical research.

Research areas

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder during childhood. Contrary to previous assumptions, it has been established that ADHD leads to considerable psychological distress (e.g. due to persistent failure and frustration) later on during adulthood in about 60% of all childhood cases. In addition, most adults with ADHD are affected by at least one further diagnosis of mental illness throughout their lives, such as depression, anxiety disorders or substance use disorders. However, only about half of those affected respond adequately to established treatment options, such as psychostimulants or psychotherapeutic procedures. In order to support the development of additional treatment methods we want to contribute to a better understanding of the various neurobiological and psychological causes of ADHD and its comorbid disorders.



Study Nurse

  • Christiane Rieß

Doctoral students

  • Ana-Magdalena Pineau, PhD student
  • Cand. med. Julio de Capilla
  • Cand. med. Katharina Kürten
  • Cand. med. André Preuße
  • Cand. med. Karla Roshop

Current projects

We work on various topics which range from genetic factors and environmental influences to cellular and brain functioning and investigate the effects of these factors on symptoms, behavioural patterns, and concomitant diseases. We pursue our research goals in close internal collaboration, e.g. with the neuronal Human Cell Models Group (Dr Rhiannon McNeill), the Clinical Research Group: Diseases of neuronal Development and Cognition [ZG2] (Prof. Dr Klaus-Peter Lesch) and the Functional Imaging and Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Group (Prof. Dr Martin Herrmann). We also collaborate with larger research networks, e.g. the IMpACT consortium, the ECNP network ADHD across the lifespan, and the ENIGMA-ADHD working group.

  • STIM-ADHD study (DFG-funded): randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled, multi-centre study to investigate the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation in adult ADHD.
    Further information can be found here.
  • KoR-ADHS study (DFG-funded as part of the Clinician Scientist Programme UNION-CVD): With this study we are investigating the cardiovascular regulation in adults with an ADHD diagnosis in comparison with healthy control subjects and its relationship with performance in various psychological tests.
    Further information can be found here.
  • Functional analysis of copy number variants of the ADHD risk gene SLC2A3 (GLUT3) at the cellular level in a stem cell-based human neuronal cell culture model and at the network level using fMRI analysis. With this study we investigate the role of neuronal energy metabolism and sugar uptake for neurogenesis and central emotion processing.
  • Investigation of the relationship between polygenetic risk for ADHD and other traits with ADHD and comorbidities. Here, we are investigating the relationship between hereditary factors and the frequency of ADHD comorbidities and various neuropsychological Parameters.


Publications can be found here or under pubmed.