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Posts for: March, 2013

Many of you have heard or read about the term "Executive Function"; it may have been used if an evaluation for ADHD was done by a neuropsychologist. What is the relationship between problems with Executive Function and ADHD? Are they one in the same?

Executive function refers to a set of mental skills that includes the ability to:

  • Manage time and attention
  • Maintain focus 
  • Plan and organize
  • Remember details
  • Curb inappropiate speech and/or behavior
  • Integrate past experience with present action

As one can see, Executive Function problems are asociated with, or are a part of , the clinical syndrome known as ADHD. However, Executive Function problems are not limited only to ADHD; they may be seen with:

  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Brain damage secondary to Alzheimer's Disease, stroke, or brain injury

The simplest was to think about executive function, is that all patients diagnosed with ADHD have problems with Executive Function, but not all patient with Executive Function problems have ADHD.

I hope that clarifies the issue a little bit.


Mitchel Katz, MD