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Behav Brain Res. 2002 Mar 10;130(1-2):47-56.

The dynamic approach to neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders: use of fMRI combined with neuropsychology to elucidate the dynamics of psychiatric disorders, exemplified in ADHD and schizophrenia.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College), De Crespigny Park, London SE 8AF, UK.


The paper discusses the application of fMRI in combination with neuropsychology to neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders, exemplified on the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in comparison with schizophrenia. The view is presented that ADHD, rather than being a compound of unrelated co-existing deficits, is a pervasive disorder of impulsiveness, which manifests at the motor, emotional, social and cognitive domain. Neuropsychology needs to refine the psychological measurements of these impulsivity symptoms and, in combination with fMRI, provide new insights into the interrelationship between brain and dysfunction and its bi-directional causalities. The suitability of the dynamic technique of functional MRI to assess the dynamic nature of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders is discussed. Brain activation can inform about strategy and compensatory mechanisms at a neuroanatomical level, which are not observable at a psychological level, providing insight into the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. Data are presented and discussed on opposing neurocognitive activation patterns for patients with ADHD and those with schizophrenia while performing a stop task. Comparisons between patient groups will be essential to address the specificity of neurocognitive mechanisms corresponding to specific neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders.

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