HCR.20.020 – Modernising the concept of ADHD: applying biological knowledge and mHealth tools to improve life with ADHD

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 083 How do neurological, psychiatric, and mental disorders arise, and how can we prevent, mitigate, or cure them?

ADHD: everybody has an opinion about it. Pressing issues around ADHD in today’s society are the potential overdiagnosis/-treatment of ADHD in some groups (especially boys), underdiagnosis in others (especially girls and adults), and the stigma attached to having ADHD. Despite robust evidence, some people even still doubt the existence of the disorder and see the diagnosis as unnecessary or harmful. Among persons having this diagnosis, some thrive, whereas others have a very difficult life.
Bringing together leaders in academic ADHD research, applied science, patient representatives, and partners from industry, our proposal aims at increasing the understanding of the mechanisms underlying ADHD, improving disorder assessment, monitoring, personalisation of treatments, and ultimately contributing to an improved quality of life for those living with ADHD. Our project has the following objectives:
(1) Exploring mHealth measures (wearables, ecological momentary assessments) as a means to support the assessment, stratification, and monitoring of ADHD symptoms.
(2) Integration of knowledge from large-scale studies of biological markers to enrich our understanding of interindividual differences in functioning and prognosis of people with ADHD and the mechanisms underlying these differences.
(3) Identification of biologically valid and clinically meaningful profiles to stratify heterogeneity in ADHD, allowing prediction of persistence into adulthood, treatment response, and the occurrence of mental/somatic comorbidities.
(4) Identification of positive traits and (environmental) factors that can maximize quality of life in people with ADHD.
(5) Investigation of subpopulations, where ADHD is thought of as over- or underdiagnosed, using our newly developed, more objective assessment tools.
Our society gets more complex and less forgiving for persons with impairments. Our timely project will generate a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying ADHD and enable a better integration of society and patient needs.


Attention-deficit, biological mechanisms, environment, genetics, hyperactivity disorder, microbiome, positive traits and factors, prognosis, quality of life, smartphones, stratification, treatment, wearables

Other organisations

list is not yet complete, several


Organisation Radboudumc (RUMC)
Name Prof. B. (Barbara) Franke
E-mail barbara.franke@radboudumc.nl
Website https://www.ru.nl/english/people/franke-b/