Brain development and ADHD

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ADHD; Development; Brain; Magnetic resonance imaging; Phenotypes; Basal ganglia; Cerebellum


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by excessive inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, either alone or in combination. Neuropsychological findings suggest that these behaviors result from underlying deficits in response inhibition, delay aversion, and executive functioning which, in turn, are presumed to be linked to dysfunction of frontal– striatal–cerebellar circuits. Over the past decade, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to examine anatomic differences in these regions between ADHD and control children. In addition to quantifying differences in total cerebral volume, specific areas of interest have been prefrontal regions, basal ganglia, the corpus callosum, and cerebellum. Differences in gray and white matter have also been examined. The ultimate goal of this research is to determine the underlying neurophysiology of ADHD and how specific phenotypes may be related to alterations in brain structure.

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