Neuroanatomical abnormalities in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
OBJECTIVE: Several neuroanatomic abnormalities have been reported in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, findings are not always consistent, perhaps because of heterogeneous subject samples. Studying youths with documented familial ADHD provides an opportunity to examine a more homogeneous population. METHOD: Twenty-four youths with a confirmed history of familial ADHD and 10 control youths underwent high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging examinations. Archived magnetic resonance imaging scan data from 12 control youths were included in the analysis to increase statistical power. Individually drawn region-of-interest methods were used to examine the frontal lobe gyri and caudate. RESULTS: Cerebral total tissue was similar between groups. The volumes of the right caudate and right inferior frontal lobe were larger in the ADHD youths compared with the control youths. Data from a subgroup of the ADHD youths suggest that increasing left caudate volume is associated with decreasing functional activation of this region. CONCLUSIONS: Because previous studies have focused primarily on younger subjects or used an extended age range, the present results may reflect neurodevelopmental changes specific to late adolescence in familial ADHD.