Susan Shur-Fen Gau

Keynote speaker Dublin 2013: Neuropsychological and imaging endophenotypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD: the endophenotype approach

Original KEYNOTE presentation and abstract by professor Susan Shur-Fen Gau (National Tai-Wan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Psychiatry, Paipe, Taiwan) on neuropsychological and imaging endophenotypes of ADHD, held at the ESCAP 2013 Congress in Dublin, Sunday 7th July 2013.


Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common earlyonset clinically and genetically heterogeneous neuropsychiatric disorder with executive functions and other neurobiological deficits. This lecture will review the neurocognitive endophenotypes for ADHD and summarize the endophenotype approach to validate ADHD based on studies from my lab using Taiwanese population. Our previous studies have demonstrated that executive functions measured by the Spatial Span, Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimentional Shift, Stocking of Cambridge, and Rapid Visual Information Processing of the CANTAB, visual memory measured by the Delayed Matching to Sample, tau (s) of ex-Gaussian distribution of reaction time, interval timing assessed by the time discrimination and time reproduction dual tasks can be the candidate for cognitive endophenotypes of ADHD; and DAT1 gene associated with ADHD inattentive type, inattention symptoms and executive functions (e.g., spatial working memory).

Slide from Susan Shur-Fen Gau presentation

 The association of ADHD with neurobiological deficits in the frontostriatal and frontoparietal networks will be presented from our morphometric, functional imaging and diffusion spectrum imaging studies. For example, we found disturbed frontostriatal and cingulum microstructure integrity in ADHD that were correlated with impaired executive functions, attention controls, and ex-Gaussian parameters of reaction time. In addition, the effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on the changes of neuropsychological functions and structural and functional connectivity in several relevant networks in ADHD will be presented based on our data on three placebo-controlled or head-to-head randomized clinical trials in child and adult ADHD populations.Slide 2 from Susan Shur-Fen Gau presentation

Keywords: ADHD, endophenotype, neuropsychological functions, imaging, diffusion spectrum imaging, methylphenidate, atomoxtine.


Download the full presentation here (pdf file, 103 slides).



Susan Shur-Fen Gau

Susan Shur-Fen Gau, MD, PhD received her M.D. from Chun-Shan Medical University, and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale, and completed her residency in psychiatry and fellowship in child psychiatry at the National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Taiwan. She is currently the Chair/Director of Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital & College of Medicine, Taiwan; and Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, Epidemiology, Occupational Therapy, and Brain and Mind Sciences at National Taiwan University.  
Professor Gau’s main research interests include psychiatric, genetic, and pharmacological epidemiology on sleep disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and other mental disorders. She has developed and prepared several Chinese versions of instruments for assessing ADHD and ASD in clinical and research settings, and been conducting treatment studies on ADHD and the follow-up, family, neuropsychological, neuroimaging, and genetic studies on ADHD and ASD.