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Study finds ADHD affects motor skills of boys more than girls
Date:11/4/2008

November 3, 2008 (Baltimore, MD)New research published in the November 4, 2008 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that ADHD affects the motor skills of boys more than girls. By examining age-related improvement of motor skills in children with and without ADHD, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md. found that girls with ADHD and their typically developing peers were more likely to be able to control their movements compared to boys with ADHD. The findings are consistent with multiple MRI studies that have shown boys with ADHD have decreased activity in regions of the brain important for planning and executing movement.

This study found that the motor skills of typically developing children steadily improved with age, but boys with ADHD continued to show motor skills deficits through adolescence. The motor skills of girls with ADHD improved at a rate more similar to their typically developing peers. This study's large sample size of boys and girls with ADHD distinguishes it from past research examining motor skill development in children with the disorder because it allows for direct comparison of girls and boys with ADHD. Previous research has primarily examined boys with the disorder, making this one of only a handful of studies that has explored whether girls with ADHD experience similar patterns in motor skill development as boys with the disorder.

"These findings suggest that sex-related differences in children with ADHD extend beyond symptom presentation to development of motor control," said E. Mark Mahone, Ph.D., ABPP, lead study author and a research scientist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. "By elementary school, girls with ADHD may be relatively free from motor skills deficits because the female brain matures earlier than the male brain."

Previous studies have shown that brain regions considered vital for motor control reach their maximum s
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Contact: Megan Lustig
mlustig@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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