Physiological stress regulation in adults with ADHD: a longitudinal remote monitoring study using a novel wearable device

Lead Supervisor
Prof Jonna Kuntsi
Professor of Developmental Disorders and Neuropsychiatry
Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)
King’s College London
jonna.kuntsi@kcl.ac.uk

Co-supervisor
Prof Richard Dobson

Project Details

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that persists into adulthood in a significant proportion of individuals clinically diagnosed in childhood. The ART-CARMA (ADHD Remote Technology (ART) study of cardiometabolic risk factors and medication adherence) project, led by supervisors Kuntsi and Dobson, involves remote data collection from 300 adults with ADHD, over 12 months. ART-CARMA forms a part of TIMESPAN, a major (€6 million) European Commission -funded collaborative and multidisciplinary research programme.

There have been extraordinary advances in recent years in the capability of monitoring individuals using wearable devices and via sensors in smartphones. These advances mean that mobile tools, with appropriate platform infrastructures supporting them, can offer wide-ranging, novel opportunities for both clinical and research measurement, from early ‘smoke alarms’ that aim to avert negative clinical outcomes to unobtrusive, real-time, multi-parametric measurement of disease progression.

ART-CARMA utilises this technology with remote assessment consisting of both active (smartphone active app and cognitive tasks) and passive (smartphone passive app and a wearable device) monitoring. The wearable device is the new EmbracePlus that enables us to measure continuously a range of physiological variables, including changes in electrodermal activity indexed arousal/alertness and heart rate. Data is collected through our RADAR-Base platform (radar-base.org) that we developed as part of the RADAR-CNS (radar-cns.org) programme.

The over-arching objective for the PhD research is to investigate the association of stress and autonomic arousal regulation with changes in ADHD and other psychiatric symptoms over time. The research benefits from the unique real-world dataset using the new wearable device; the student will have an opportunity to join the ART-CARMA team and take an active role in developing the research further. Training will be provided.

Datasets

ART-CARMA ethical approval process is in progress and is expected to be completed by January 2022.

Keywords

Mobile-health; wearable devices; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; ADHD