Comparisons between sluggish cognitive tempo and ADHD-restrictive inattentive presentation phenotypes in a clinical ADHD sample

  • Gül Ünsel-BolatEmail author
  • Eyüp Sabri Ercan
  • Hilmi Bolat
  • Serkan Süren
  • Ali Bacanlı
  • Kemal Utku Yazıcı
  • Luis Augusto Rohde
Original Article


There is a debate how different ADHD cases with a comorbid sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) phenotype are from subjects with a pure inattentive ADHD presentation (ADHD-restrictive inattentive presentation). In this study, 214 patients aged 8–15 years from an ADHD outpatient clinic were assessed, and 100 typically developing controls (TD) were recruited as comparisons. No psychiatric comorbidities except for oppositional defiant disorder were allowed. We compared 29 cases with ADHD + SCT with 34 ADHD-RI cases and 92 TD subjects on sociodemographic profiles, CBCL subscales scores and neurocognitive findings. Regarding sociodemographic profiles (age, gender and parental education) and CBCL subscales, ADHD + SCT and ADHD-RI cases did not differ in any score (all p > 0.05). Comparing with SCT cases, ADHD-RI cases presented slower psychomotor speed and worse neurocognitive index (p < 0.001). We found that only SCT was independently associated with a lower performance in total memory score. ADHD-RI was independently associated with longer reaction time. Our findings suggest that although SCT might be expected to present longer reaction time, we found that slower psychomotor speed and longer reaction time scores were related to inattention. Overall, SCT and ADHD-RI groups were distinguished by differential associations with measures of memory and reaction time.


Sluggish cognitive tempo ADHD Inattention Neurocognitive profile Slow psychomotor speed 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Eyüp Sabri Ercan is on advisory boards for Sanofi Turkey. Luis A. Rohde has received honoraria, has been on the speakers’ bureau/advisory board and/or has acted as a consultant for Eli-Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Medice, Novartis and Shire in the last three years. He receives authorship royalties from Oxford Press and ArtMed. He also received travel awards for taking part of 2014 APA and 2015 WFADHD meetings from Shire and 2016 AACAP meeting from Novartis. The ADHD and Juvenile Bipolar Disorder Outpatient Programs chaired by him received unrestricted educational and research support from the following pharmaceutical companies in the last three years: Eli-Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Novartis and Shire. Gül Ünsel Bolat received travel award for taking part of 2018 Turkish Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Congress from Sanofi. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryElazig City HospitalElazigTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicineEge UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Medical GeneticsElazig City HospitalElazigTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryMedical Park HospitalSamsunTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zübeyde Hanım HospitalBaşkent UniversityIzmirTurkey
  6. 6.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryFırat UniversityElazigTurkey
  7. 7.ADHD Outpatient Program, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Federal University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  8. 8.National Institute of Developmental Psychiatry for Children and AdolescentsSão PauloBrazil

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