, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 100-104

Objective measurement of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention in children with hyperkinetic disorders before and after treatment with methylphenidate

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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether values of the respective parameters of the OPTAx test dependently differ due to the medication with methylphenidate (MPH) in children with hyperkinetic disorders (HD) suffering from hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention deficits.


The OPTAx test is an infrared motion analysis to record the movement pattern during a continuous performance test. We tested 25 children between 6 and 12 years with HD (ICD-10: F90.0 or F90.1) before and after treatment with MPH. The parameters under investigation were activity (microevents and spatial scaling), impulsivity (errors of commission), and attentiveness (accuracy and variability). For statistical analysis a one-tailed matched pairs test (adj. p = 0.01) was conducted to discriminate differences found from those occurred at random. A post hoc partial correlation of absolute differences in the respective parameters and the daily dose of MPH (adj. for BMI) was performed if p < 0.01.


Statistically significant results were found for microevents, spatial scaling, errors of commission, accuracy, and variability. The partial correlation showed significant results for microevents and variability.


The mean preā€“post changes found in all parameters investigated consistently correspond with benefits desired from medication with MPH in children with HD. Absolute differences in microevents and variability seem to depend on the daily dose of MPH after adjustment for BMI.