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Visual cortex abnormalities in adults with ADHD: A structural MRI study


Ahrendts, J; Rüsch, N; Wilke, M; Philipsen, A; Eickhoff, S B; Glauche, V; Perlov, E; Ebert, D; Hennig, J; Tebartz van Elst, L (2011). Visual cortex abnormalities in adults with ADHD: A structural MRI study. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 12(4):260-270.

Abstract

Objectives. Most structural imaging studies in ADHD have focused on prefronto-striatal circuits. However, findings remained inconsistent while recent reports point to the posterior parietal cortex as an additional target for research. Moreover, although adult ADHD clinically differs from the childhood presentation little is known about the structural correlates of ADHD in adults. The aim of this study was to clarify the involvement of prefronto-striatal and posterior parietal areas in adult ADHD. Methods. Voxel-based morphometry of high resolution MRI scans was applied to analyze volumetric brain differences between 31 adult patients with ADHD and 31 control subjects. Results. The volume of prefrontal, striatal and parietal gray matter was normal. ADHD patients displayed a significant reduction of gray matter volume bilaterally in the early visual cortex (P < 0.04). Conclusions. The unexpected finding of visual cortex abnormalities might be related to impairments in early-stage, 'subexecutive" attentional mechanisms. The results support the notion that executive dysfunction may not be the dominant neurobiological characteristic of ADHD at least in adult patients. The visual cortex deserves more consideration as a potentially important site of dysfunction in adult and possibly childhood ADHD.

Abstract

Objectives. Most structural imaging studies in ADHD have focused on prefronto-striatal circuits. However, findings remained inconsistent while recent reports point to the posterior parietal cortex as an additional target for research. Moreover, although adult ADHD clinically differs from the childhood presentation little is known about the structural correlates of ADHD in adults. The aim of this study was to clarify the involvement of prefronto-striatal and posterior parietal areas in adult ADHD. Methods. Voxel-based morphometry of high resolution MRI scans was applied to analyze volumetric brain differences between 31 adult patients with ADHD and 31 control subjects. Results. The volume of prefrontal, striatal and parietal gray matter was normal. ADHD patients displayed a significant reduction of gray matter volume bilaterally in the early visual cortex (P < 0.04). Conclusions. The unexpected finding of visual cortex abnormalities might be related to impairments in early-stage, 'subexecutive" attentional mechanisms. The results support the notion that executive dysfunction may not be the dominant neurobiological characteristic of ADHD at least in adult patients. The visual cortex deserves more consideration as a potentially important site of dysfunction in adult and possibly childhood ADHD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:20 Jan 2011 15:44
Last Modified:09 Mar 2017 08:33
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:1562-2975
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3109/15622975.2010.518624
PubMed ID:20879808

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