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Novel imaging technique shows abnormal brain anatomy in children with ADHD

did not receive medication.

Patients consisted of two groups, each comprised of 10 children with ADHD. The first group had not taken medication or had been minimally exposed to medications. The second group was exposed to stimulants for an average of 2.5 years. Each of these groups was compared with 10 age- and gender-matched controls. The medicated ADHD children exhibited a normalization effect in fiber pathways of several brain areas.

"The findings from this small, cross-sectional study indicate that the therapeutic effect of stimulants may involve a brain normalization process," Dr. Kumra said.

Most people diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to have problems in adolescence and adulthood. "Despite progress in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, this disorder and its treatment have remained controversial," said co-author of the stimulant study, Andrew Adesman, M.D. "This study is yet further proof that children with ADHD differ at a neurobiological level as compared to children without the disorder." Dr. Adesman is chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Dr. Ashtari said further studies with larger patient groups must be conducted before offering parents advice for diagnosis or treatment.

Co-authors are Babak Ardekani, Ph.D., Shree Bhaskar, M.D., Tana Clarke, B.S., and Joseph Rhinewine, M.A. (DTI study only). The research was sponsored by an NIMH grant.


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Contact: Maureen Morley
mmorley@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
29-Nov-2004


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