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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

How do stimulant medications treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? A study using MRI to examine the effects of stimulants on brain structure and function in ADHD.

Please refer to this study by identifier 6235

Principal Investigator(s)

Jonathan Posner


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood mental health disorders. Although the main symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, emotional lability is another common symptom that can be impairing for people with ADHD. Stimulant medications are commonly used to treat ADHD and have been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms; however, less is known about how stimulants work to reduce these symptoms, particularly emotional lability. This study aims to learn more about the mechanisms by which stimulants reduce emotional lability and other ADHD symptoms by looking at the effects of an approved medication on brain structure and function in individuals with ADHD. To achieve this aim, this study combines neuroimaging (MRI scans) with a clinical trial of the stimulant Lisdexafetamine, which is also known as LDEX or Vyvanse. We are recruiting (1) individuals with ADHD and (2) individuals without any mental health conditions who are between the ages of 6 and 25 years old to participate in this study. All participants will receive a psychiatric evaluation and MRI scan upon entering the study. We will then randomize ADHD participants to 12 weeks of controlled treatment with a stimulant medication or placebo (sugar pill). ADHD participants will undergo a second evaluation and MRI scan at the end of treatment. We provide all ADHD participants with 1 month of free treatment at the end of the study.

  • Type of Study: Clinical Trial
  • Setting of Study: outpatient
  • Clinical number: NCT01415440
  • Providing Clinical Treatment?: Yes
  • No Cost Treatment?: Yes
  • Care is provided in languages: English

Study Activities

  • Filling Out Forms
  • Computer Tasks
  • MRI Scan
  • Provides Payment: Reimbursement for transportation
  • Provides Payment: Compensation for study related procedures


  • Ages Eligible for Study: 6 Years - 25 Years
  • Genders Eligible for Study: Both
  • This study is recruiting Healthy Volunteers.


For more information, please contact

Jonathan Posner

Tel: 646-774-5735


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