Brain gray matter deficits at 33-year follow-up in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder established in childhood.
ABSTRACT: Volumetric studies have reported relatively decreased cortical thickness and gray matter volumes in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) whose childhood status was retrospectively recalled. We present, to our knowledge, the first prospective study combining cortical thickness and voxel-based morphometry in adults diagnosed as having ADHD in childhood.To test whether adults with combined-type childhood ADHD exhibit cortical thinning and decreased gray matter in regions hypothesized to be related to ADHD and to test whether anatomic differences are associated with a current ADHD diagnosis, including persistent vs remitting ADHD.Cross-sectional analysis embedded in a 33-year prospective follow-up at a mean age of 41.2 years.Research outpatient center.We recruited probands with ADHD from a cohort of 207 white boys aged 6 to 12 years. Male comparison participants (n = 178) were free of ADHD in childhood. We obtained magnetic resonance images in 59 probands and 80 comparison participants (28.5% and 44.9% of the original samples, respectively).Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry and vertexwise cortical thickness analyses.The cortex was significantly thinner in ADHD probands than in comparison participants in the dorsal attentional network and limbic areas (false discovery rate < 0.05, corrected). In addition, gray matter was significantly decreased in probands in the right caudate, right thalamus, and bilateral cerebellar hemispheres. Probands with persistent ADHD (n = 17) did not differ significantly from those with remitting ADHD (n = 26) (false discovery rate < 0.05). At uncorrected P < .05, individuals with remitting ADHD had thicker cortex relative to those with persistent ADHD in the medial occipital cortex, insula, parahippocampus, and prefrontal regions.Anatomic gray matter reductions are observable in adults with childhood ADHD, regardless of the current diagnosis. The most affected regions underpin top-down control of attention and regulation of emotion and motivation. Exploratory analyses suggest that diagnostic remission may result from compensatory maturation of prefrontal, cerebellar, and thalamic circuitry.
Project description:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalent and heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder, which is diagnosed using subjective symptom reports. Machine learning classifiers have been utilized to assist in the development of neuroimaging-based biomarkers for objective diagnosis of ADHD. However, existing basic model-based studies in ADHD report suboptimal classification performances and inconclusive results, mainly due to the limited flexibility for each type of basic classifier to appropriately handle multi-dimensional source features with varying properties. This study applied ensemble learning techniques (ELTs), a meta-algorithm that combine several basic machine learning models into one predictive model in order to decrease variance, bias, or improve predictions, in multimodal neuroimaging data collected from 72 young adults, including 36 probands (18 remitters and 18 persisters of childhood ADHD) and 36 group-matched controls. All currently available optimization strategies for ELTs (i.e., voting, bagging, boosting and stacking techniques) were tested in a pool of semifinal classification results generated by seven basic classifiers. The high-dimensional neuroimaging features for classification included regional cortical gray matter (GM) thickness and surface area, GM volume of subcortical structures, volume and fractional anisotropy of major white matter fiber tracts, pair-wise regional connectivity and global/nodal topological properties of the functional brain network for cue-evoked attention process. As a result, the bagging-based ELT with the base model of support vector machine achieved the best results, with significant improvement of the area under the receiver of operating characteristic curve (0.89 for ADHD vs. controls and 0.9 for ADHD persisters vs. remitters). Features of nodal efficiency in right inferior frontal gyrus, right middle frontal (MFG)-inferior parietal (IPL) functional connectivity, and right amygdala volume significantly contributed to accurate discrimination between ADHD probands and controls; higher nodal efficiency of right MFG greatly contributed to inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptom remission, while higher right MFG-IPL functional connectivity strongly linked to symptom persistence in adults with childhood ADHD. Considering their improved robustness than the commonly implemented basic classifiers, findings suggest that ELTs may have the potential to identify more reliable neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:Non-psychotic individuals at increased risk for schizophrenia show alterations in fronto-striatal dopamine signaling and cortical gray matter maturation reminiscent of those seen in schizophrenia. It remains unclear however if variations in dopamine signaling influence rates of structural cortical maturation in typically developing individuals, and whether such influences are disrupted in patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic siblings. We sought to address these issues by relating a functional Val?Met polymorphism within the gene encoding catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT)-a key enzymatic regulator of cortical dopamine levels-to longitudinal structural neuroimaging measures of cortical gray matter thickness. We included a total of 792 magnetic resonance imaging brain scans, acquired between ages 9 and 22 years from patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia (COS), their non-psychotic full siblings, and matched healthy controls. Whereas greater Val allele dose (which confers enhanced dopamine catabolism and is proposed to aggravate cortical deficits in schizophrenia) accelerated adolescent cortical thinning in both schizophrenia probands and their siblings, it attenuated cortical thinning in healthy controls. This similarity between COS patients and their siblings was accompanied by differences between the two groups in the timing and spatial distribution of disrupted COMT influences on cortical maturation. Consequently, whereas greater Val "dose" conferred persistent dorsolateral prefrontal cortical deficits amongst affected probands by adulthood, cortical thickness differences associated with varying Val dose in non-psychotic siblings resolved over the age-range studied. These findings suggest that cortical abnormalities in pedigrees affected by schizophrenia may be contributed to by a disruption of dopaminergic infleunces on cortical maturation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adulthood is a serious and frequent psychiatric disorder with the core symptoms inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The principal aim of this study was to investigate associations between brain morphology, i.e., cortical thickness and volumes of subcortical gray matter, and individual symptom severity in adult ADHD. METHODS:Surface-based brain morphometry was performed in 35 women and 29 men with ADHD using FreeSurfer. Linear regressions were calculated between cortical thickness and the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity subscales of the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS). Two separate analyses were performed. For the first analysis, age was included as additional regressor. For the second analysis, both age and severity of depression were included as additional regressors. Study participants were recruited between June 2012 and January 2014. RESULTS:Linear regression identified an area in the left occipital cortex of men, covering parts of the middle occipital sulcus and gyrus, in which the score on the CAARS inattention subscale predicted increased mean cortical thickness [F(1,27)?=?26.27, p?<?0.001, adjusted R2?=?0.4744]. No significant associations were found between cortical thickness and the scores on CAARS subscales in women. No significant associations were found between the volumes of subcortical gray matter and the scores on CAARS subscales, neither in men nor in women. These results remained stable when severity of depression was included as additional regressor, together with age. CONCLUSION:Increased cortical thickness in the left occipital cortex may represent a mechanism to compensate for dysfunctional attentional networks in male adult ADHD patients.
Project description:The protracted and highly variable development of prefrontal cortex regions that support cognitive control has been purported to shape the adult outcome of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This neurodevelopmental model was tested in a prospectively followed sample of 27 adult probands who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and 28 carefully matched comparison subjects aged 21-28 years. Probands were classified with persistent ADHD or remitted ADHD. Behavioral and neural responses to the Stimulus and Response Conflict Task (SRCT) performed during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were compared in probands and comparison subjects and in probands with persistent and remitted ADHD. Response speed and accuracy for stimulus, response, and combined conflicts did not differ across groups. Orbitofrontal, inferior frontal and parietal activation was lower in probands than comparison subjects, but only for combined conflicts, when demand for cognitive control was highest. Reduced activation for combined conflicts in probands was almost wholly attributable to the persistence of ADHD; orbitofrontal, inferior frontal, anterior cingulate and parietal activation was lower in probands with persistent ADHD than both probands with remitted ADHD and comparison subjects, but did not differ between probands with remitted ADHD and comparison subjects. These data provide the first evidence that prefrontal and parietal activation during cognitive control parallels the adult outcome of ADHD diagnosed in childhood, with persistence of symptoms linked to reduced activation and symptom recovery associated with activation indistinguishable from adults with no history of ADHD.
Project description:Although Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Bipolar Disorder (BPD) frequently co-occur and represent a particularly morbid clinical form of both disorders, neuroimaging research addressing this comorbidity is scarce. Our aim was to evaluate cortical thickness in ADHD and BPD, testing the hypothesis that comorbid subjects (ADHD+BPD) would have neuroanatomical correlates of both disorders. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) findings were compared between 31 adults with ADHD+BPD, 18 with BPD, 26 with ADHD, and 23 healthy controls. Cortical thickness analysis of regions of interest was estimated as a function of ADHD and BPD status, using linear regression models. BPD was associated with significantly thicker cortices in 13 regions, independently of ADHD status and ADHD was associated with significantly thinner neocortical gray matter in 28 regions, independent of BPD. In the comorbid state of ADHD plus BPD, the profile of cortical abnormalities consisted of structures that are altered in both disorders individually. Results support the hypothesis that ADHD and BPD independently contribute to cortical thickness alterations of selective and distinct brain structures, and that the comorbid state represents a combinatory effect of the two. Attention to comorbidity is necessary to help clarify the heterogeneous neuroanatomy of both BPD and ADHD.
Project description:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasingly conceived as reflecting altered functional and structural brain connectivity. The latter can be addressed with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We examined fractional anisotropy (FA), a DTI index related to white matter structural properties, in adult male subjects diagnosed with ADHD in childhood (probands) and matched control subjects without childhood ADHD. Additionally, we contrasted FA among probands with and without current ADHD in adulthood and control subjects.Participants were from an original cohort of 207 boys and 178 male control subjects. At 33-year follow-up, analyzable DTI scans were obtained in 51 probands (41.3 ± 2.8 yrs) and 66 control subjects (41.2 ± 3.1 yrs). Voxel-based FA was computed with tract-based spatial statistics, controlling for multiple comparisons.Probands with childhood ADHD exhibited significantly lower FA than control subjects without childhood ADHD in the right superior and posterior corona radiata, right superior longitudinal fasciculus, and in a left cluster including the posterior thalamic radiation, the retrolenticular part of the internal capsule, and the sagittal stratum (p<.05, corrected). Fractional anisotropy was significantly decreased relative to control subjects in several tracts in both probands with current and remitted ADHD, who did not differ significantly from each other. Fractional anisotropy was not significantly increased in probands in any region.Decreased FA in adults with childhood ADHD regardless of current ADHD might be an enduring trait of ADHD. White matter tracts with decreased FA connect regions involved in high-level as well as sensorimotor functions, suggesting that both types of processes are involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
Project description:About 50% of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients suffer from comorbidity with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD). Most previous studies on structural morphology did not differentiate between pure (ADHD-only) and comorbid ADHD (ADHD+ODD/CD). Therefore, we aimed to investigate the structural profile of ADHD-only versus ADHD+ODD/CD spanning the indices subcortical and cortical volume, cortical thickness, and surface area. We predicted a reduced total gray matter, striatal, and cerebellar volume in both patient groups and a reduced amygdalar and hippocampal volume for ADHD+ODD/CD. We also explored alterations in prefrontal volume, thickness, and surface area. We acquired structural images from an adolescent sample ranging from 11 to 17?years, matched with regard to age, pubertal status, and IQ-including 36 boys with ADHD-only, 26 boys with ADHD+ODD/CD, and 30 typically developing (TD) boys. We analyzed structural data with FreeSurfer. We found reductions in total gray matter and total surface area for both patient groups. Boys with ADHD+ODD/CD had a thicker cortex than the other groups in a right rostral middle frontal cluster, which was related to stronger ODD/CD symptoms, even when controlling for ADHD symptoms. No group differences in local cortical volume or surface area emerged. We demonstrate the necessity to carefully differentiate between ADHD and ADHD+ODD/CD. The increased rostral middle frontal thickness might hint at a delayed adolescent cortical thinning in ADHD+ODD/CD. Patients with the double burden ADHD and ODD or CD seem to be even more affected than patients with pure ADHD.
Project description:Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and intelligence (IQ) are both heritable phenotypes. Overlapping genetic effects have been suggested to influence both, with neuroimaging work suggesting similar overlap in terms of morphometric properties of the brain. Together, this evidence suggests that the brain changes characteristic of ADHD may vary as a function of IQ. This study investigated this hypothesis in a sample of 108 children with ADHD and 106 typically developing controls, who participated in a cross-sectional anatomical MRI study. A subgroup of 64 children also participated in a diffusion tensor imaging scan. Brain volumes, local cortical thickness and average cerebral white matter microstructure were analyzed in relation to diagnostic group and IQ. Dimensional analyses investigated possible group differences in the relationship between anatomical measures and IQ. Second, the groups were split into above and below median IQ subgroups to investigate possible differences in the trajectories of cortical development. Dimensionally, cerebral gray matter volume and cerebral white matter microstructure were positively associated with IQ for controls, but not for ADHD. In the analyses of the below and above median IQ subgroups, we found no differences from controls in cerebral gray matter volume in ADHD with below-median IQ, but a delay of cortical development in a number of regions, including prefrontal areas. Conversely, in ADHD with above-median IQ, there were significant reductions from controls in cerebral gray matter volume, but no local differences in the trajectories of cortical development.In conclusion, the basic relationship between IQ and neuroanatomy appears to be altered in ADHD. Our results suggest that there may be multiple brain phenotypes associated with ADHD, where ADHD combined with above median IQ is characterized by small, more global reductions in brain volume that are stable over development, whereas ADHD with below median IQ is associated more with a delay of cortical development.
Project description:Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by age-inappropriate symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that persist into adulthood in the majority of the diagnosed children. Despite several risk factors during childhood predicting the persistence of ADHD symptoms into adulthood, the genetic architecture underlying the trajectory of ADHD over time is still unclear. We set out to study the contribution of common genetic variants to the risk for ADHD across the lifespan by conducting meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies on persistent ADHD in adults and ADHD in childhood separately and jointly, and by comparing the genetic background between them in a total sample of 17,149 cases and 32,411 controls. Our results show nine new independent loci and support a shared contribution of common genetic variants to ADHD in children and adults. No subgroup heterogeneity was observed among children, while this group consists of future remitting and persistent individuals. We report similar patterns of genetic correlation of ADHD with other ADHD-related datasets and different traits and disorders among adults, children, and when combining both groups. These findings confirm that persistent ADHD in adults is a neurodevelopmental disorder and extend the existing hypothesis of a shared genetic architecture underlying ADHD and different traits to a lifespan perspective.
Project description:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood is characterized by gray and white matter abnormalities in several brain areas. Considerably less is known about white matter microstructure in adults with ADHD and its relation with clinical symptoms and cognitive performance. In 107 adult ADHD patients and 109 gender-, age- and IQ-matched controls, we used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) to investigate whole-skeleton changes of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean, axial, and radial diffusivity (MD, AD, RD). Additionally, we studied the relation of FA and MD values with symptom severity and cognitive performance on tasks measuring working memory, attention, inhibition, and delay discounting. In comparison to controls, participants with ADHD showed reduced FA in corpus callosum, bilateral corona radiata, and thalamic radiation. Higher MD and RD were found in overlapping and even more widespread areas in both hemispheres, also encompassing internal and external capsule, sagittal stratum, fornix, and superior lateral fasciculus. Values of FA and MD were not associated with symptom severity. However, within some white matter clusters that distinguished patients from controls, worse inhibition performance was associated with reduced FA and more impulsive decision making was associated with increased MD. This study shows widespread differences in white matter integrity between adults with persistent ADHD and healthy individuals. Changes in RD suggest aberrant myelination as a pathophysiological factor in persistent ADHD. The microstructural differences in adult ADHD may contribute to poor inhibition and greater impulsivity but appear to be independent of disease severity.