22 November 2003

Brain Imaging Targets ADHD Differences

Investigators at UCLA used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the brains of 27 children with ADHD to those of 46 children without the disorder. They found that the region of the brain associated with attention and impulse control, located on the bottom of the frontal lobes of the brain, was smaller in the ADHD kids than in the other children.

'We would expect that the abnormalities would be in this region, and this is what we found,' lead investigator Elizabeth Sowell, PhD, tells WebMD.

The researchers also found that children with ADHD had larger areas of the outer layers of the brain.

Previous research has indicated that the differences were limited to the right side of the brain, but Sowell and colleagues found that they occurred on both sides.

ADHD has an image problem, in the media, not the frontal lobes. A disease that gets diagnosed on interviews is easy to debunk and a disease that involves drugs as about the only effective therapy is easy to beat up. If the brain imaging studies lead to an objective way to diagnose the thing, a lot of the controversy will go away.

What was I talking about?

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