Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has long been considered a behavioral problem, but new research published in Lancet Psychiatry shows that people with ADHD may actually have a smaller overall brain volume, and certain regions of their brain may be smaller as well.
(Image credit: Laura Meader)
To determine this, scientists analyzed the MRI scans of 3,200 people. 2 different groups of patients from age 4 to 63 were analyzed, those diagnosed with ADHD, and a control group of patients without the condition. The difference in brain volume noted by the researchers was most noticeable when looking at the MRIs of children, and less noticeable in adults.
Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, a Toronto-based pediatric neurologist, hopes that this research will help health professionals, parents and teachers understand this disorder better: “It is a bit distressing that kids are still getting feedback that they are misbehaving or that [ADHD] is not real. If anything comes out of this very large study, it’s that this is a brain disorder.”
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