ADHD 4 year-olds – smaller brain regions proportional to ADHD severity – March 2018

Scans Show Differences in Brains of Preschoolers With A.D.H.D. New York Times

  • “The brains of the children with A.D.H.D. symptoms were significantly different than the brains of the control children, with “really widespread changes,” Dr. Mahone said.”
  • “Those changes included a smaller brain, over all, and reductions in the size of several specific regions, including the frontal lobes. “The magnitude of those reductions predicted how bad their A.D.H.D. symptomatology was,” Dr. Mahone said. “Something about what is happening in early life leads them to have differences in their brains even by age 4.””
  • They figured out how to keep an ADHD child still for the 40 minutes needed to make a brain scan

Anomalous Brain Development Is Evident in Preschoolers With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Lisa A. Jacobson (a1) (a2), Deana Crocetti (a1), Benjamin Dirlikov (a1), Keith Slifer (a1) (a2) ... online: 26 March 2018

Objectives: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurological disorder with symptom onset early in childhood. Growing evidence suggests anomalous brain development across multiple brain regions is evident in school-aged children; however, few studies have examined whether such differences are notable in the preschool years when symptom onset typically occurs.

Methods: High resolution anatomical (MPRAGE) images and cognitive and behavioral measures were analyzed in a total of 90 medication-naïve preschoolers, ages 4–5 years (52 with ADHD, 38 controls; 64.4% boys).

Results: Results revealed reductions in bilateral frontal, parietal, and temporal lobe gray matter volumes in children with ADHD relative to typically developing children, with largest effect sizes noted for right frontal and left temporal lobe volumes.
Examining frontal lobe sub-regions, the largest between group effect sizes were evident for

  • left orbitofrontal cortex,
  • left primary motor cortex (M1), and
  • left supplementary motor complex (SMC).

ADHD-related reductions in specific sub-regions (left prefrontal, left premotor, left frontal eye field, left M1, and right SMC)
were significantly correlated with symptom severity, such that higher ratings of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms were associated with reduced cortical volumes.

Conclusions: These findings represent the first comprehensive examination of cortical volume in preschool children with ADHD, providing evidence that anomalous brain structure in ADHD is evident very early in development. Furthermore, findings set the stage for developing our understanding of the way in which developmental trajectories of anomalous brain development are associated with the unfolding of symptoms in childhood ADHD. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1–9)

2229 visitors, last modified 26 Mar, 2018,
Printer Friendly Follow this page for updates