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Cortical gray matter in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a structural magnetic resonance imaging study.

OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown smaller brain volume and less gray matter in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Relatively few morphological studies have examined structures thought to subserve inhibitory control, one of the diagnostic features of ADHD. We examined one such region, the pars opercularis, predicting a thinner cortex of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in children with ADHD. METHOD: Structural images were obtained from 49 children (24 control; 25 ADHD combined subtype) aged 9 though 15 years. Images were processed using a volumetric pipeline to provide a fully automated estimate of regional volumes of gray and white matter. A further analysis using FreeSurfer provided measures of cortical thickness for each lobe, and for 13 regions in the frontal lobe. RESULTS: Relative to controls, children with ADHD had smaller whole brain volume and lower gray matter, but not white matter, volumes in all lobes. An analysis of frontal regions showed a significant interaction of group by region. Planned contrasts showed bilateral thinner cortex in the pars opercularis in children with ADHD. CONCLUSIONS: Children with ADHD showed both diffuse and regional gray matter abnormalities. Consistent with its putative role in response inhibition, the cortex of the pars opercularis was thinner in children with ADHD who, as expected, had significantly poorer inhibitory performance on a Go/No-go task. These differences held for both hemispheres raising the possibility that a developmental abnormality of IFG might drive development of inhibition difficulties.

Pubmed ID: 20410712 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Adolescent | Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity | Brain | Cerebral Cortex | Child | Dominance, Cerebral | Female | Frontal Lobe | Humans | Image Processing, Computer-Assisted | Inhibition (Psychology) | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Male | Neural Pathways | Neuropsychological Tests | Organ Size | Reference Values | Software

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FreeSurfer

A set of automated tools for reconstruction of the brain's cortical surface from structural MRI data, and overlay of functional MRI data onto the reconstructed surface. It contains a fully automatic structural imaging stream for processing cross sectional and longitudinal data. FreeSurfer provides many anatomical analysis tools, including: representation of the cortical surface between white and gray matter, representation of the pial surface, segmentation of white matter from the rest of the brain, skull stripping, B1 bias field correction, nonlinear registration of the cortical surface of an individual with a stereotaxic atlas, labeling of regions of the cortical surface, statistical analysis of group morphometry differences, and labeling of subcortical brain structures and much more ... FreeSurfer is brought to you by the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

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