Psychiatry Investig.  2021 Dec;18(12):1171-1179. 10.30773/pi.2021.0167.

Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness and Its Relationship With Executive Functions in Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Patients

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Kırıkkale Yüksek İhtisas Hospital, Kırıkkale, Turkey
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Health Science University Şişli Etfal Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
  • 4Department of Ophtalmology, Health Science University Gülhane Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Health Science University Gülhane Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


The aim of this study was to compare the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) with controls in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to examine the relationship between RNFL thickness and the level of performance in disease severity and executive function tests in ADHD cases.
The study included 38 volunteer patients diagnosed with ADHD and 30 healthy volunteers. Adult ADHD self-report scale was used for ADHD symptom severity. Executive functions were evaluated by Digit Span Test, Verbal Fluency Test, Stroop Test, and Trail Making Test. RNFL thickness of all participants was evaluated using optical coherence tomography (OCT).
In the comparison of RNFL values, it was found that right mean, right temporal, right temporal inferior, left mean, left nasal, and left nasal inferior quadrant values were statistically thinner in ADHD cases compared to the control group (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant correlation between the mean RNFL thickness values of the right and left eyes of ADHD cases and the symptom severity and performance levels in executive function tests.
This study is a guide in terms of being the first study investigating the relationship between RNFL thickness, symptom severity, and various neuropsychological tests in adults with ADHD.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Retinal nerve fiber layer; Optical coherence tomography; Executive functions
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