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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Research in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The Relationship of Iron Status to Symptom Severity, Sleep-related Limb Movements, and Cognitive Deficits in Children with ADHD

Principal Investigator: Rhoda Gottfried, M.D.

This is a study of a sample of 80 children ages 6-10 years with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (40 with ADHD and 40 controls without ADHD) compared on ferritin levels, ADHD symptoms, cognitive function and sleep related limb movement.  The purpose of this study is to determine the role of iron status in symptoms of ADHD.  Low ferritin levels have been linked to ADHD in other studies. Sleep problems have also been linked to ADHD.  Iron status has been shown to be severely compromised in a high percentage of cases of children with both ADHD and restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms.  Because iron is a cofactor in the production of dopamine and low iron status has been shown to alter dopamine function and because ADHD and RLS have both been linked to dopamine hypo activity it has been hypothesized that iron could be an etiologic factor in some cases of ADHD and in RLS.  In this study we are measuring iron status and other indicators of nutritional status. We are using validated sleep questionnaires and a device that measures involuntary limb movements during sleep.  We are obtaining measures of cognitive function and other comorbid psychiatric disorders.  Using these measures we hope to determine if there is an identifiable group of children with functional iron-deficiency, sleep problems and ADHD who’s symptoms be could lessened by iron status improvement.  This is not a treatment study, but will provide evidence to determine if a treatment study is warranted.

Study Coordinator and Contact:

Kyla Machell

Follow-Up of the PATS (Methylphenidate Efficacy and Safety in Children with ADHD)

Principal Investigator: Mark A. Riddle, M.D.

This is a multi-site, 5-year follow-up study of a sample of approximately 201 of the 303 preschool children, ages 3-5 years, who were diagnosed with ADHD and participated in the original Preschoolers with ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) to determine the safety and efficacy of methylphenidate. The follow-up study will assess these children as they turn 4-9 years old and attend elementary school.

Study Coordinator and Contact:

Jessica Samson


Johns Hopkins University
600 North Wolfe Street
Children's Medical and Surgical

The Long Term Outcomes of Children with ADHD

Principal Investigator: Rick Ostrander Ed.D.

This study has followed children that were originally diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school and have followed them for over twenty years.  This longitudinal study has allowed us to understand the long term implications of having ADHD.  In particular, we have examined the relatively high prevalence rates of specific psychiatric disorders that often develop over the course of adolescence and young adulthood. Additionally, we have examined how specific academic, social and family considerations contribute to both negative and positive outcomes for children with ADHD.  

STATUS: This study is in the data analysis stage.


August, G.J., Ostrander, R. & Bloomquist, M.L. (1992) An epidemiological screening method of ADHD assessment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 62(3), 387-396.

Doyle, A., Ostrander, R., Skare, S.S., Crosby, R.D. & August, G.J. (1997) Convergent and discriminant validity of the BASC-PRS in children with cross-setting disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26, 276-284.

Ostrander, R., Weinfort, K.P., Yarnold, P.R. & August, G.J. (1998) Diagnosing attention deficit disorders with the behavioral assessment system and the child behavior checklist: Test and construct validity analyses using optimal discriminant classification trees. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 661-672.

Blackman, G., Ostrander, R. & Herman, K.C. (2005) Depressed and non-depressed ADHD children: A multisource, multimethod assessment of clinical, social and academic functioning, Journal of Attention Disorders, 195-207

Ostrander, R. & Herman, K.C. (2006) Potential cognitive, parenting, and developmental mediators of the relationship between ADHD and depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol 74(1), pp. 89-98.

George, C., Herman, K. C., & Ostrander, R. (2006). The family environment and developmental psychopathology: The unique and interactive effects of depressive, attention, and conduct problems. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 37, 163-177.

Herman, K. C., & Ostrander, R. (2007). The effects of attention problems on depression: Developmental, academic, and cognitive pathways. School Psychology Quarterly, 22, 483-510.

Kempley, H. & Ostrander, R. (2007) Family characteristics of anxious ADHD children: Preliminary results. Journal of Attention Disorders, 10, 317-323.

Ostrander, R., Crystal, D. & August, G.J. (2007) Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, and self- and other-assessments of social competence: A developmental study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 774-786.

Herman, K. C., Ostrander, R., & Tucker, C. M. (2007). Do family environments and negative cognitions of adolescents with depressive symptoms vary by ethnic group? Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 325-330

Reinke, W. M. & Ostrander, R. (2008) Heterotyic and Homotypic Continuity: The Moderating Effects of Age and Gender. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 1109-1121.

Ostrander, R., Herman, K., Sikorski, J., Mascendaro, P., & Lambert, S. (2008) Patterns of Psychopathology in Children with ADHD: A Latent Profile Analysis. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 37, 833-847.

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