ADHD is a critical public health concern, given it is the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorder, with worldwide prevalence rates of 5-7%, equating to approx. 400,000 Australian children. The symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention beginning in childhood have a significant impact on behaviour, learning and social skills at home and school. For 80% of children with ADHD, symptoms persist into adolescence and for some, into adulthood. Cognitive training programs that target working memory have achieved widespread clinical use in ADHD, yet the rationale for this approach is not well established. Although working memory impairments are commonly reported in ADHD, alone they are unlikely to underpin the entire spectrum of behavioural symptoms observed in ADHD.
In order to promote sustained reductions in core symptoms and impairments of ADHD (which to date have been limited), Dr Kirk, aims to provide a mechanistically principled framework for training interventions to target the cognitive processes causally linked to ADHD symptoms.
Dr Kirk talks about her PhD studies and the development of TALI.