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Can brain scans identify ADHD and help predict treatment response?


Inside the adult ADHD brain (MIT News):

About 11 per­cent of school-age chil­dren in the Unit­ed States have been diag­nosed with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (ADHD). While many of these chil­dren even­tu­al­ly “out­grow” the dis­or­der, some car­ry their dif­fi­cul­ties into adult­hood: About 10 mil­lion Amer­i­can adults are cur­rent­ly diag­nosed with ADHD…“The psy­chi­atric guide­lines for whether a person’s ADHD is per­sis­tent or remit­ted are based on lots of clin­i­cal stud­ies and impres­sions. This new study sug­gests that there is a real bio­log­i­cal bound­ary between those two sets of patients,” says MIT’s John Gabrieli…

In the new study, the MIT team showed for the first time that in adults who had been diag­nosed with ADHD as chil­dren but no longer have it, this nor­mal syn­chrony pat­tern is restored. “Their brains now look like those of peo­ple who nev­er had ADHD,” Mat­tfeld says.

This find­ing is quite intrigu­ing,” says Fran­cis­co Xavier Castellanos…“If it can be con­firmed, this pat­tern could become a tar­get for poten­tial mod­i­fi­ca­tion to help patients learn to com­pen­sate for the dis­or­der with­out chang­ing their genet­ic make­up.”

We’re pret­ty excit­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that some brain mea­sure­ment would tell us which child or adult is most like­ly to ben­e­fit from a treat­ment.”

Study: Brain dif­fer­ences between per­sis­tent and remit­ted atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der (Brain).

  • Sum­ma­ry: Pre­vi­ous rest­ing state stud­ies exam­in­ing the brain basis of atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der have not dis­tin­guished between patients who per­sist ver­sus those who remit from the diag­no­sis as adults. To char­ac­ter­ize the neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties of per­sis­tence and remit­tance, we per­formed rest­ing state func­tion­al mag­net­ic res­o­nance imag­ing in indi­vid­u­als who had been lon­gi­tu­di­nal­ly and uni­form­ly char­ac­ter­ized as hav­ing or not hav­ing atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der in child­hood and again in adult­hood (16 years after base­line assessment)…The neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal dis­so­ci­a­tion between the per­sis­tence and remit­tance of atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der may pro­vide a frame­work for the rela­tion between the clin­i­cal diag­no­sis, which indi­cates the need for treat­ment, and addi­tion­al deficits that are com­mon, such as exec­u­tive dys­func­tions.

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Categories: Attention and ADD/ADHD, Cognitive Neuroscience, Technology

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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