PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Mental Health Sciences III.

Concurrent and Prospective Associations of Reward Response with Affective and Alcohol Problems: ADHD-Related Differential Vulnerability

Alexandra Rádosi1,2, Kristóf Ágrez1, Bea Pászthy3, János M. Réthelyi4, István Ulbert5,6, & Nóra Bunford1

1 Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology Research Group, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Budapest
2 Semmelweis University, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences, Budapest
3 Semmelweis University, 1st Department of Paediatrics, Budapest
4 Semmelweis University, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Budapest
5 Integrative Neuroscience Research Group, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Budapest
6 Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest

Text of the abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heterogeneous disorder. Data on the role of transdiagnostic, intermediate phenotypes in ADHD-relevant characteristics and outcomes is needed to advance conceptual understanding and approaches to precision psychiatry.
Aims were to examine in a sample of 129 adolescents (Mage=15.29 years, SD=1.00; 62% boys), whether concurrent and prospective associations of fMRI-measured initial response to reward attainment (relative to loss) with affectivity and externalizing, internalizing, and alcohol use problems differ between youth at-risk for (n=50; Mage=15.18 years, SD=1.04; 78% boys) and not at-risk for (Mage=15.37 years, SD=.976; 51.9% boys) ADHD.
Both concurrent and prospective relations differed given ADHD risk: in at-risk youth, greater superior frontal gyrus (SFG) response was associated with lower concurrent negative affectivity and depression but in not at-risk youth, these characteristics were not related. Controlling for baseline use, in at-risk youth, greater putamen (PU) response was associated with greater 18-month hazardous alcohol use, whereas in not at-risk youth, greater PU response was associated with lower use.
Differences in neural response to reward differentially confer vulnerability for adolescent affective and alcohol problems depending on ADHD risk. Where in brain and for which outcomes modulates (direction of) observed relations: SFG response is relevant for affective whereas PU response is relevant for alcohol problems and greater neural responsivity is linked to less affective but to more alcohol problems in adolescents at-risk for ADHD and less alcohol problems in adolescents not at-risk. Results are consistent with a hypothesis of differential ADHD-related susceptibility.
This work was funded by an MTA Lendület Grant awarded to NB (#LP2018-3/2018) and SE250+ (EFOP-3.6.3-VEKOP-16-2017-00009) fellowships awarded to AR.