Reduced white matter integrity in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

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We used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of fiber tract integrity, in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using a tract-based atlasing approach on six-direction diffusion tensor imaging data, we examined FA within the cingulum, corpus callosum, corticospinal tract, fornix, optic radiations, superior longitudinal fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus, and the superior and inferior occipitofrontal fasciculi in an all-male sample of 17 children and adolescents with ADHD and 16 age-matched controls. ADHD patients had significantly lower FA in the corticospinal tract (P=0.02) and the superior longitudinal fasciculus (P=0.017) compared with controls. Results support that disruptions in motor and attentional networks may contribute toward ADHD pathophysiology. Future research may clarify how ADHD subtype and psychiatric comorbidities affect diffusion measures.

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