Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MRI shows disrupted connections in the brains of young people with ADHD

30.04.2014

A new study has found that children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have disrupted connections between different areas of the brain that are evident on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). The results of this research are published online in the journal Radiology.

The findings point to the potential of rfMRI to help provide objectively accurate, early diagnosis of a disorder that affects approximately 5 percent of children and adolescents worldwide.

ADHD is a disorder characterized by age-inappropriate degrees of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Functional MRI studies, which measure brain activity when a person is focused on a particular task, have implicated the brain's frontostriatal circuit, a collection of neural pathways in the frontal lobe of the brain that helps control behavior. However, the specific brain physiology underlying ADHD remains poorly understood.

For the new study, researchers used rfMRI, a relatively new technique that assesses neural function when the brain is not focused on a specific task. The technique is useful for exploring the brain's functional organization independent of task performance.

The researchers compared rfMRI results in 33 boys with ADHD, ages 6 to 16, with those of 32 similarly aged, healthy controls. They correlated the MRI findings with results from tests of executive function, a term for the set of mental processes involved in planning, organizing, time management and regulating emotions, among other things. People with ADHD often have abnormal executive function.

The results showed that the patients with ADHD had altered structure and function located in areas of the brain like the orbitofrontal cortex, which is primarily involved in the cognitive processing of strategic planning, and the globus pallidus, which is involved in executive inhibitory control.

"Our study suggests that the structural and functional abnormalities in these brain regions might cause the inattention and hyperactivity of the patients with ADHD, and we are doing further analysis on their correlation with the clinical symptoms," said Qiyong Gong, M.D., Ph.D., a neuroradiologist from the Department of Radiology at West China Hospital of Sichuan University in Sichuan, China. "Our preliminary results show the association between imaging findings and symptoms."

The researchers also found abnormalities in the connections between resting-state brain networks associated with executive dysfunction. These abnormalities indicate more widespread brain alterations in ADHD than previously had been shown, Dr. Gong said.

Exploration of the association between brain activity and executive function might be useful in better characterizing patients with ADHD and in understanding the pathophysiology underlying the condition, according to Dr. Gong.

"Our results suggest the potential clinical utility of the rfMRI changes as a useful marker, which may help in diagnosis and in monitoring disease progression and, consequently, may inform timely clinical intervention in the future," he said.

Dr. Gong indicated that larger studies are needed to validate the results. The researchers also plan to study changes in connectivity over time in ADHD patients and explore the potential differences of functional connectivity between the clinical subtypes of ADHD, such as inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

The ADHD study is part of a larger project from Dr. Gong's group at Huaxi MR Research Center of the West China Hospital to explore MRI's diagnostic and prognostic potential in psychiatric disorders.

###

"Intrinsic Brain Abnormalities in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Resting-State Functional MR Imaging Study." Collaborating with Dr. Gong were Fei Li, Ph.D., Ning He, M.D., Yuanyuan Li, M.D., Lizhou Chen, M.D., Xiaoqi Huang, Ph.D., Su Lui, Ph.D., Lanting Guo, M.D., and Graham J. Kemp, M.A., D.M.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

RSNA is an association of more than 53,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill.

For patient-friendly information on MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Linda Brooks | Eurek Alert!

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer
18.09.2014 | Virginia Commonwealth University

nachricht Scientists pioneer microscopy technique that yields fresh data on muscular dystrophy
18.09.2014 | University of Southern California

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

"Start-ups and spin-offs funding – Public and private policies", 14th October 2014

12.09.2014 | Event News

BALTIC 2014: Baltic Sea Geologists meet in Warnemünde

03.09.2014 | Event News

IT security in the digital society

27.08.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new “sleep node” in the brain

19.09.2014 | Life Sciences

Sensing Neuronal Activity With Light

19.09.2014 | Life Sciences

Miranda: An Icy Moon Deformed by Tidal Heating

19.09.2014 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>