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Brain imaging study of preschoolers with ADHD detects brain differences linked to symptoms
Date:6/9/2011

schoolers, 13 presenting with ADHD symptoms and 13 without, and found differences in the caudate nucleus.The caudate nucleus is a small structure in the subcortical region of the brain and is associated with cognitive and motor control. Results showed that children with ADHD symptoms had significantly reduced caudate volumes compared to the children who did not present with ADHD symptoms. Additionally, these caudate volumes were significantly correlated with parent ratings of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Cortical volumes, however, were not associated with symptom severity. Researchers concluded that differences in basal ganglia development, particularly the caudate nucleus, appear to play an important role among children presenting with early onset symptoms of ADHD.

"Clinically, this abnormal brain development sets the stage for the symptoms of ADHD that contribute to cognitive challenges and problems in school," said Dr. Mark Mahone, lead author and Director of Neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD. "Earlier identification and treatment of children presenting with attention problems in the preschool years may minimize the impact of ADHD in the long-term."

As part of this longitudinal study, researchers will continue to follow the brain development of these children to determine if abnormalities persist or regress with age.


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Contact: Colleen Butz
cbutz@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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