Trajectories of cerebral cortical development in childhood and adolescence and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) persists into adulthood in around half of those affected, constituting a major public health challenge. No known demographic, clinical, or neuropsychological factors robustly explain the clinical course, directing our focus to the brain. Herein, we link the trajectories of cerebral cortical development during childhood and adolescence with the severity of adult ADHD. METHODS:Using a longitudinal study design, 92 participants with ADHD had childhood (mean 10.7 years, SD 3.3) and adult clinical assessments (mean 23.8 years, SD 4.3) with repeated neuroanatomic magnetic resonance imaging. Contrast was made against 184 matched typically developing volunteers. RESULTS:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder persisted in 37 (40%) subjects and adult symptom severity was linked to cortical trajectories. Specifically, as the number of adult symptoms increased, particularly inattentive symptoms, so did the rate of cortical thinning in the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. For each increase of one symptom of adult ADHD, the rate of cortical thinning increased by .0018 mm (SE = .0004, t = 4.2, p < .0001), representing a 5.6% change over the mean rate of thinning for the entire group. These differing trajectories resulted in a convergence toward typical dimensions among those who remitted and a fixed, nonprogressive deficit in persistent ADHD. Notably, cortical thickening or minimal thinning (greater than -.007 mm/year) was found exclusively among individuals who remitted. CONCLUSIONS:Adult ADHD status is linked with the developmental trajectories of cortical components of networks supporting attention, cognitive control, and the default mode network. This informs our understanding of the developmental pathways to adult ADHD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Understanding the neural processes tied to the adult outcome of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could guide novel interventions to improve its clinical course. It has been argued that normalization of prefrontal cortical activity drives remission from ADHD, while anomalies in subcortical processes are "fixed," present even in remission. Using multimodal neuroimaging of inhibitory processes, the authors tested these hypotheses in adults followed since childhood, contrasting remitted against persistent ADHD. METHOD:Adult participants (persistent ADHD, N=35; remit-ted ADHD, N=47; never affected, N=99) were scanned with functional MRI (fMRI) (N=85), magnetoencephalography (N=33), or both (N=63) during a response inhibition task. RESULTS:In fMRI analyses, during inhibition, right caudate anomalies reflected a childhood ADHD history and were present even among those who remitted. By contrast, differences related to adult outcome emerged in cortical (right inferior frontal and inferior parietal/precuneus) and cerebellar regions. The persistent ADHD group showed under-activation, whereas the remitted ADHD group did not differ significantly from the never-affected group. Magnetoencephalography showed that the association between adult symptom severity and prefrontal neuronal activity was confined to the time window covering the act of inhibition (300 ms-350 ms). Group differences in cerebellar and parietal neuronal activity occurred during the time window of performance monitoring processes (500 ms-600 ms). CONCLUSIONS:By combining fMRI and magnetoencephalography, the location and time window of neuronal activity that underpins the adult outcome of ADHD was pinpointed. Thus, the cortico-cerebellar processes tied to the clinical course of ADHD are separated from the subcortical processes that are not.
Project description:Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric condition of children with a prevalence of 5-10% worldwide. Up to 30% of adults with a history of childhood ADHD maintain symptoms in later life; these adult ADHD patients are severely impaired in social and professional life due to persistence of ADHD core symptoms like impulsivity, attention deficit and hyperactivity as well as frequently observed co-morbidities like alcohol and drug abuse, major depression, bipolar and personality disorders. Pharmaceutical treatment options include methylphenidate (MPH), which is amongst others an inhibitor of the dopamine transporter and therefore increases dopamine levels in the brain. However, not all ADHD patients are MPH responders with clinical features to distinguish responders and non-responders being not at hand so far. Likewise, neurobiological reasons for drug response are still elusive. Here, we examined the global transcriptional response of MPH on lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) derived from ADHD patients and unaffected controls.
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:Changes in cerebral cortical anatomy have been tied to the clinical course of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We now ask if alterations in white matter tract microstructure are likewise linked with the adult outcome of childhood ADHD. Seventy-five young adults, 32 with ADHD persisting from childhood and 43 with symptom remission were contrasted against 74 never-affected comparison subjects. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we defined fractional anisotropy, a metric related to white matter microstructure, along with measures of diffusion perpendicular (radial) and parallel (axial) to the axon. Analyses were adjusted for head motion, age and sex, and controlled for multiple comparisons and medication history. Tract-based analyses showed that greater adult inattention, but not hyperactivity-impulsivity, was associated with significantly lower fractional anisotropy in the left uncinate (standardized ?=-0.37, t=3.28, p=0.002) and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (standardized ?=-0.37, t=3.29, p=0.002). The ADHD group with symptoms persisting into adulthood had significantly lower fractional anisotropy than the never-affected controls in these tracts, differences associated with medium to large effect sizes. By contrast, the ADHD group that remitted by adulthood did not differ significantly from controls. The anomalies were found in tracts that connect components of neural systems pertinent to ADHD, such as attention control (inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus) and emotion regulation and the processing of reward (the uncinate fasciculus). Change in radial rather than axial diffusivity was the primary driver of this effect, suggesting pathophysiological processes including altered myelination as future targets for pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with mental health problems and functional impairment across many domains. However, how the longitudinal course of ADHD affects later functioning remains unclear.AimsWe aimed to disentangle how ADHD developmental patterns are associated with young adult functioning. METHOD:The Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study is a population-based cohort of 2232 twins born in England and Wales in 1994-1995. We assessed ADHD in childhood at ages 5, 7, 10 and 12 years and in young adulthood at age 18 years. We examined three developmental patterns of ADHD from childhood to young adulthood - remitted, persistent and late-onset ADHD - and compared these groups with one another and with non-ADHD controls on functioning at age 18 years. We additionally tested whether group differences were attributable to childhood IQ, childhood conduct disorder or familial factors shared between twins. RESULTS:Compared with individuals without ADHD, those with remitted ADHD showed poorer physical health and socioeconomic outcomes in young adulthood. Individuals with persistent or late-onset ADHD showed poorer functioning across all domains, including mental health, substance misuse, psychosocial, physical health and socioeconomic outcomes. Overall, these associations were not explained by childhood IQ, childhood conduct disorder or shared familial factors. CONCLUSIONS:Long-term associations of childhood ADHD with adverse physical health and socioeconomic outcomes underscore the need for early intervention. Young adult ADHD showed stronger associations with poorer mental health, substance misuse and psychosocial outcomes, emphasising the importance of identifying and treating adults with ADHD.Declaration of interestNone.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is now recognized to occur in adulthood and is associated with a range of negative outcomes. However, less is known about the prospective course of ADHD into adulthood, the risk factors for its persistence, and the possibility of its emergence in young adulthood in nonclinical populations. OBJECTIVE:To investigate childhood risk factors and young adult functioning of individuals with persistent, remitted, and late-onset young adult ADHD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:The study sample was the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative birth cohort of 2232 twins born in England and Wales from January 1, 1994, to December 4, 1995. Evaluation of childhood ADHD (ages 5, 7, 10, and 12 years) included prenatal and perinatal factors, clinical characteristics, and aspects of the family environment. Among participants aged 18 years, ADHD symptoms and associated impairment, overall functioning, and other mental health disorders were examined. Data analysis was conducted from February 19 to September 10, 2015. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria in childhood and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria in young adulthood. RESULTS:Of 2232 participants in the E-Risk Study, 2040 were included in the present analysis. In total, 247 individuals met diagnostic criteria for childhood ADHD; of these, 54 (21.9%) also met diagnostic criteria for the disorder at age 18 years. Persistence was associated with more symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 1.11 [95% CI, 1.04-1.19]) and lower IQ (OR, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.95-1.00]). At age 18 years, individuals with persistent ADHD had more functional impairment (school/work: OR, 3.30 [95% CI, 2.18-5.00], home/with friends: OR, 6.26 [95% CI, 3.07-12.76]), generalized anxiety disorder (OR, 5.19 [95% CI, 2.01-13.38]), conduct disorder (OR, 2.03 [95% CI, 1.03-3.99]), and marijuana dependence (OR, 2.88 [95% CI, 1.07-7.71]) compared with those whose ADHD remitted. Among 166 individuals with adult ADHD, 112 (67.5%) did not meet criteria for ADHD at any assessment in childhood. Results from logistic regressions indicated that individuals with late-onset ADHD showed fewer externalizing problems (OR, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.91-0.96]) and higher IQ (OR, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.02-1.07]) in childhood compared with the persistent group. However, at age 18 years, those with late-onset ADHD demonstrated comparable ADHD symptoms and impairment as well as similarly elevated rates of mental health disorders. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:We identified heterogeneity in the DSM-5 young adult ADHD population such that this group consisted of a large, late-onset ADHD group with no childhood diagnosis, and a smaller group with persistent ADHD. The extent to which childhood-onset and late-onset adult ADHD may reflect different causes has implications for genetic studies and treatment of ADHD.
Project description: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:<h4>Background</h4>Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common comorbidity of childhood epilepsy, but the neuroanatomical correlates of ADHD in epilepsy have yet to be comprehensively characterized.<h4>Methods</h4>Children with new and recent-onset epilepsy with (n?=?18) and without (n?=?36) ADHD, and healthy controls (n?=?46) underwent high resolution MRI. Measures of cortical morphology (thickness, area, volume, curvature) and subcortical and cerebellar volumes were compared between the groups using the program FreeSurfer 5.1.<h4>Results</h4>Compared to the control group, children with epilepsy and ADHD exhibited diffuse bilateral thinning in the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, with volume reductions in the brainstem and subcortical structures (bilateral caudate, left thalamus, right hippocampus). There were very few group differences across measures of cortical volume, area or curvature.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Children with epilepsy and comorbid ADHD exhibited a pattern of bilateral and widespread decreased cortical thickness as well as decreased volume of subcortical structures and brainstem. These anatomic abnormalities were evident early in the course of epilepsy suggesting the presence of antecedent neurodevelopmental changes, the course of which remains to be determined.
Project description:Smoking rates are particularly high during adolescence and young adulthood, when the brain is still undergoing significant developmental changes. Cross-sectional studies have revealed altered brain structure in smokers, such as thinner frontal cortical areas. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of becoming nicotine-dependent, and has also been associated with abnormalities in frontal gray matter structure. The present study examines the relationships between smoking, cortical thickness and ADHD symptoms in a longitudinal design that compares adolescent and young adult smokers (n=44; 35 ADHD-affected) and non-smokers (n=45; 32 ADHD-affected) on frontal cortical thickness. Average frontal cortical thickness was estimated through structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at two time points (mean ages 17.7 and 21.1 years), on average 3.4 years apart. Smokers had a 2.6% thinner frontal cortex than non-smokers and this difference was not explained by ADHD or other confounding factors. The rate of cortical thinning across the 3.4-year MRI measurement interval was similar in the total group of smokers compared to non-smokers. However, speeded thinning did occur in smokers who had started regular smoking more recently, in between the two measurements. These novel regular smokers did not differ significantly from the non-smokers at baseline. This suggests that the thinner frontal cortex was not a predisposing factor but rather a consequence of smoking. Although smokers had more ADHD symptoms overall, smoking did not influence the developmental course of ADHD symptoms.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common in bipolar disorder and associated with worse outcomes. Cognitive testing might be a tool to identify this group. Here we compare the neuropsychological profiles of bipolar disorder patients with (BD + cADHD) and without (BD - cADHD) childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. METHODS:Adult patients with BD - cADHD (n = 66), BD + cADHD (n = 32), and healthy controls (n = 112) were tested using a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Patients underwent rigorous diagnostic assessments for bipolar disorder and ADHD, as well as a parental interview to establish childhood ADHD. RESULTS:The neuropsychological profiles of the groups were similar, except that the BD + cADHD group performed significantly worse on working memory. Working memory did not differ between those in the BD + cADHD group who only had a history of childhood ADHD and those that still met criteria for ADHD in adulthood. CONCLUSIONS:Cognitive testing had limited power to differentiate between bipolar disorder adults with and without childhood ADHD. The BD + cADHD subgroup cannot explain the significant cognitive heterogeneity seen in bipolar disorder patients.