A study published September 15 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests key connections between brain networks develop more slowly in young people with ADHD. These connections specifically control intentional direct thought and the ability to focus on tasks. The slower development of these connections is thought to clarify why those with ADHD may be easily distracted or have trouble focusing.
The study used imaging technology called functional MRI to scan the brains to 275 children and teenagers with ADHD and 481 young people without the disorder.
ADHD is estimated to affect 3-5% of American children. Those diagnosed demonstrate restless behavior and difficulty controlling such behavior, which in turn can make succeeding academically and socially a struggle. The disorder occurs more often in boys than girls.
We and others are interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of ADHD in hopes that we can contribute to better diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Chandra Sripada, assistant professor at the University of Michigan said. “The results of this study set the stage for the next phase of this research, which is to examine individual components of the networks that have the maturational lag.”
Researchers hope these new discoveries will lead to the use of brain scans to diagnose ADHD, rather than behavioral analysis, and track how well patients respond to medications. The researchers further suggest that the methods used by this study have potential to be used to investigate other disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.
Read more here- “Study Sees Difference in Brain Connections of Kids with ADHD,” (Mary Elizabeth Dallas, HealthDay News)
Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.