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ADHD Research Program Newsletter
November 2012 – Volume 1, Issue 1
Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.
ADHD Program Director
Dr. Schweitzer is a licensed Clinical
Psychologist whose research aims to
develop novel treatments of ADHD for
adults and children using a variety of
behavioral and psychological techniques.
In addition to directing the ADHD
Program at the MIND Institute, Dr.
Schweitzer is an Associate Professor in
the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences and is highly involved in the
mentorship of new researchers and
faculty at the UC Davis School of
J. Faye Dixon, Ph.D.
Clinic Director
Dr. Dixon is an assistant clinical
professor of psychiatry and behavioral
sciences and is the Director of the UC
Davis MIND Institute ADHD Clinic. She
is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her
clinical and research interests include
ADHD, learning differences, and anxiety
and mood disorders in children. She also
has a long history of educating and
training psychology graduate students
and interns, medical students and child
psychiatry fellows.
Catherine Fassbender, Ph.D.
Assistant Professional Researcher
Dr. Fassbender is a cognitive
neuroscientist. She studies cognitive
impairments in individuals with ADHD,
patterns of brain and behavior in
individuals vulnerable to substance
dependence and cognitive impairment
related to long-term substance
A. Murat Pakyurek, M.D.
Medical Director
Dr. Pakyurek is a board certified General
Psychiatrist and Child and Adolescent
Psychiatrist. Dr. Pakyurek is Medical
Director of the UC Davis ADHD
Program and the Dept. of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences outpatient clinic.
Our Mission
Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is the most
common childhood behavioral disorder affecting 3-5% of school-age
children and 4% of adults. Individuals with ADHD may act quickly
without thinking and interrupt others (impulsivity), fidget, have difficulty
sitting still and staying on-task (hyperactivity), or daydream and get
easily sidetracked (inattention). ADHD impacts school, work, friendships
and daily functioning. It requires lifelong management and can be paired
with depression or learning disorders. The UC Davis MIND Institute
ADHD Team is leading the field with research into the causes of ADHD
and its impact on the lives of individuals, families and society. We bring
hope and help to families experiencing ADHD by researching more
accurate diagnoses and expanding treatment options for ADHD. Our
goals are to better understand and treat impulsivity, to improve attention,
and to help individuals with ADHD succeed in school and work. We
know that those affected by ADHD have amazing potential and it is our
mission to enable each patient to achieve their best.
Recent findings by the ADHD team include…
 Telemedicine methods can effectively be used for parent training in
ADHD—a breakthrough for parents without local access to therapists
 Children with ADHD work just as hard, but use increased and less efficient
brain activity in working memory problems
 1/3 of adolescents with ADHD are likely to drop out of high school
 Computerized cognitive training games can improve attention during
academic tasks for children with ADHD
Khyati Brahmbhatt, M.D.
ADHD Program Psychiatrist
Dr. Brahmbhatt is a board certified Child
Psychiatrist. In addition to working with
the ADHD Program, Dr. Brahmbhatt is an
Assistant Clinical Professor in the Dept. of
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UC
Davis School of Medicine and director of
the pediatric consultation-liaison service at
the UC Davis Medical Center.
Kyle Rutledge, M.S.
Graduate Student Researcher
Mr. Rutledge is a Ph.D. candidate in the
Dept. of Human Development, UC Davis.
His research interests include ADHD in
children and adults, cognition and
behavior, and treatment effectiveness.
Tadeus Hartanto, B.S.
Mr. Hartanto has a degree in
Psychobiology from UC Davis and
research interests in developmental
disorders and clinical psychology.
Erin Calfee, B.A.
Ms. Calfee has a degree in History from
Brown University and assists with data
collection and research recruitment.
ADHD Program Volunteers
Elizabeth Bisi
Kathryn Dulla
Adam Petchers
Caitlin Critz
Ayla Kapahi
How to get involved
2012 is an exciting time for the ADHD
program as we continue current treatment
trials and begin new ones. Our innovative
research depends on community support.
Please consider
participating in a study,
referring others, or making
a donation to help us find
answers for families living
with ADHD.
(916) 703-0294
[email protected]
Current clinical research studies by the ADHD team include…
 Cognitive Control and Reward Processing in ADHD: We are
conducting the largest, longitudinal functional neuroimaging study of
brain development of impulsivity in ADHD and typical development
adolescents and young adults in the U.S. This project will recruit 200
teenagers and young adults and study how brain development relates
to self-control, risk-taking, academic and occupational functioning in
youths with and without ADHD to provide clues for intervention.
Individuals will be assessed using cognitive and achievement testing,
behavioral computer tasks, and brain imaging (fMRI). All
participants (ages 12-25) will be compensated for their time.
(NIMH/NIH-PI: Schweitzer)
 Identifying Cognitive and Neural Risk Factors for Substance
Dependence in ADHD: We are studying behavior and related neural
activity in adults with ADHD and adults that have been dependent on
methamphetamine in the past to help us understand how to prevent
illicit drug dependence in ADHD. The study compares attention and
memory brain activity in adults with ADHD, past methamphetamine
dependence, both, and neither. Participants (ages 18-50) complete
computer tasks and fMRI scans. (NIDA/NIH-PI: Fassbender)
 Comparison between Parent Training and Computerized
Cognitive Training in ADHD: We are testing the effectiveness of a
parent training and a home-based computer program, both designed to
improve attention and memory in children with ADHD. All
participants (ages 6-12) complete both 6-8 week treatments.
Recent research publications by the ADHD team include…
Fassbender, C., Schweitzer, J.B., Cortes, C.R., Tagamets, M.A. Windsor,
T.A., Reeves, G.M. & Gullapalli, R. (2011). Working Memory in Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is Characterized by a Lack of Specialization
of Brain Function. PLoS ONE, 6(11):e27240.
Green, C.T., Long, D.L., Gree, D., Iosif, A.M., Dixon, J.F., Miller, M.R.,
Fassbender, C. & Schweitzer, J.B. (2012). Will Working Memory
Training Generalize to Improve Off-Task Behavior in Children with
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? Neurotherapeutics, 9(3): 639648.
Rutledge, Kyle J., van den Bos, Wouter, McClure, Samuel M. &
Schweitzer, Julie B. (2012). Training Cognition in ADHD: Current
Findings, Borrowed Concepts, and Future Directions. Neurotherapeutics,
published online 22 August 2012.
Salo, R., Gabay, S., Fassbender, C. & Henik, A. (2011). Distributed
Attentional Deficits in Chronic Methamphetamine Abusers: Evidence from
the Attention Network Task (ANT), Brain and Cognition, 77(3): 446-452.
Xie, Y., Dixon, J.F., Yee, O.M., Zhang, J., Chen, A., DeAngelo, S.,
Yellowlees, P., Hendren, R., Schweitzer, J.B. (in press). A Preliminary
Study on the Effectiveness of Videoconferencing on Teaching Parent
Training Skills to Parents of Children with ADHD. Accepted with minor
revisions, Telemedicine and e-Health.
Schweitzer, J.B., Pakyurek, A.M., Dixon, J.F. (in press). AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. APPI Clinical Manual of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. American Psychiatric Association Press.