Background: The purpose of this study was to explore whether there are white matter (WM) abnormalities in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using diffusion tensor imaging. Based upon the literature, we predicted decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) findings in the frontal and cerebellar regions. Methods: Eighteen patients with ADHD and 15 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers received DTI assessments. Fractional anisotropy maps of WM were compared between groups with a voxelwise analysis after intersubject registration to Talairach space. Results: Children with ADHD had decreased FA in areas that have been implicated in the pathophysiology of ADHD: right premotor, right striatal, right cerebral peduncle, left middle cerebellar peduncle, left cerebellum, and left parieto-occipital areas. Conclusions: These preliminary data support the hypothesis that alterations in brain WM integrity in frontal and cerebellar regions occur in ADHD. The pattern of decreased FA might implicate the corticopontocerebellar circuit in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants MH-64556 (SK) and MH-01990 (PS), and MH-070612 (MA); an American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Pilot research award for child psychiatry fellow (SLB), and a grant from the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital Research Institute.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- White matter
- magnetic resonance imaging