Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in major depressed and bipolar subjects: role of personality traits and clinical implications

  • Marco Di Nicola
  • Loretta Sala
  • Lucia Romo
  • Valeria Catalano
  • Christian Even
  • Caroline Dubertret
  • Giovanni Martinotti
  • Giovanni Camardese
  • Marianna Mazza
  • Daniela Tedeschi
  • Antonino Callea
  • Luisa De Risio
  • Julien Daniel Guelfi
  • Fréderic Rouillon
  • Luigi Janiri
  • Philip Gorwood
Original Paper


A significant comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and affective disorders has been consistently reported in adults. Less data regarding the role of personality traits and the influence of ADHD co-occurrence on clinical characteristics and outcome of mood disorders are currently available. One hundred and six remitted major depressed, 102 euthymic bipolar subjects, and 120 healthy controls, homogeneous with respect to demographic characteristics, were included in the study. ADHD diagnosis was based on DSM-IV-TR criteria. Childhood and adult ADHD features were measured with the Wender Utah Rating Scale, the Adult ADHD Self-rating Scale, and the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale. The Revised NEO Personality Inventory was also administered to the clinical groups, in order to investigate personality dimensions. The occurrence of adult ADHD in subjects with bipolar disorders (BD) or major depressive disorder (MDD) was 15.7 and 7.5 %, respectively, compared to 3.3 % in healthy controls (HC). Significant associations (p < .001) between personality traits (neuroticism, conscientiousness, and extraversion) and ADHD features were observed. Logistic regression analysis of all clinical subjects (n = 208) showed that those with lower levels of neuroticism (OR = 1.031; p = .025) had a lower frequency of ADHD comorbidity. The present study emphasizes the close relationship between affective disorders, especially BD, and ADHD in adults. Our findings support the need to assess subjects with mood disorders in the clinical setting for possible coexisting ADHD and to further investigate personality traits to better understand the etiology of affective disorders and ADHD co-occurrence.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Bipolar disorder Major depressive disorder Comorbidity Personality Neuroticism 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Di Nicola
    • 1
    • 7
  • Loretta Sala
    • 2
  • Lucia Romo
    • 2
    • 5
  • Valeria Catalano
    • 1
  • Christian Even
    • 2
  • Caroline Dubertret
    • 3
  • Giovanni Martinotti
    • 8
  • Giovanni Camardese
    • 1
  • Marianna Mazza
    • 1
  • Daniela Tedeschi
    • 1
  • Antonino Callea
    • 6
  • Luisa De Risio
    • 1
  • Julien Daniel Guelfi
    • 2
  • Fréderic Rouillon
    • 2
    • 4
  • Luigi Janiri
    • 1
    • 7
  • Philip Gorwood
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Psychiatry and PsychologyCatholic University of Sacred Heart RomeItaly
  2. 2.CMME, Sainte-Anne HospitalParis Descartes UniversityParisFrance
  3. 3.Louis Mourier University HospitalColombesFrance
  4. 4.Centre of Psychiatry and NeurosciencesINSERM U894ParisFrance
  5. 5.Laboratoire EvaclipsyUniversity Paris Ouest Nanterre La DéfenseParisFrance
  6. 6.Science of EducationLUMSA UniversityRomeItaly
  7. 7.University Consortium HumanitasRomeItaly
  8. 8.Department of Neuroscience and ImagingUniversity “G. d’Annunzio”ChietiItaly

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