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Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Sep;161(9):1650-7.

Response inhibition in adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during childhood: an event-related FMRI study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Box 1230, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Frontostriatal neural abnormalities have been implicated in the response inhibition impairments that are characteristic of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, reports of such abnormalities in adolescents are inconsistent. The present study used behavioral and functional neuroimaging techniques to examine inhibitory control processes in adolescents who had been diagnosed with ADHD during childhood.


The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of a Go/No-Go task to scan 10 male adolescents who were diagnosed with DSM-III-R ADHD when they were 7 to 11 years old and nine age-, sex-, and IQ-matched comparison subjects with no history of ADHD. Response inhibition was tested by contrasting neural activation during No-Go trials with that during Go trials.


The inhibition of a prepotent tendency to respond produced markedly greater activation of the left anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral frontopolar regions, bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and left medial frontal gyrus in the adolescents with childhood ADHD than in the adolescents with no history of ADHD. Activity in the first two regions was inversely related to task performance across the study group.


Compared with adolescents who had no history of ADHD, adolescents who were diagnosed with ADHD during childhood exhibited enhanced responses during inhibition in ventrolateral prefrontal cortical areas that subserve response inhibition, as well as in anterior cingulate and frontopolar regions implicated in other executive functions.

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