Association of inattention with slow-spindle density in sleep EEG of children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder

Yoshihiko Saito, Yoshimi Kaga*, Eiji Nakagawa, Mariko Okubo, Kosuke Kohashi, Mikimasa Omori, A. Fukuda, Masumi Inagaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We evaluated the power of slow sleep spindles during sleep stage 2 to clarify their relationship with executive function, especially with attention, in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: Subjects were 21 children with ADHD and 18 aged-matched, typically developing children (TDC). ADHD subjects were divided into groups of only ADHD and ADHD + autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We employed the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) to measure attention. We focused on sleep spindle frequencies (12–14 Hz) in sleep stage 2 and performed a power spectral analysis using fast Fourier transform techniques and compared sleep spindles with the variability of reaction time in CPT. Results: In the CPT, reaction variabilities in ADHD and ADHD + ASD significantly differed from those in TDC. Twelve-hertz spindles were mainly distributed in the frontal pole and frontal area and 14-Hz spindles in the central area. The ratio of 12-Hz frontal spindle power was higher in ADHD than in TDC, especially in ADHD + ASD. Significant correlation between the ratio of 12-Hz spindles and reaction time variability was observed. Conclusions: Twelve-hertz frontal spindle EEG activity may have positive associations with sustained attention function. Slow frontal spindles may be useful as a biomarker of inattention in children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-759
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Fast spindle
  • Inattention
  • Power spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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