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Brain activation gradients in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex related to persistence of ADHD in adolescent boys.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA. kurt.schulz@mssm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the possible role that functional abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia play in the persistence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescents aged 15 to 19 years.

METHOD:

Ten male adolescents who were diagnosed with ADHD during childhood were grouped into those who continued to meet full diagnostic criteria for DSM-IV ADHD (persisters; n = 5) and those in whom symptoms had remitted sufficiently to warrant a diagnosis of ADHD in partial remission (remitters; n = 5). Persisters, remitters, and five carefully matched controls with no history of ADHD were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a go/no-go task.

RESULTS:

Parallel linear trends were found in performance on the go/no-go task and activation of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, such that persisters made the most commission errors (33%) and showed the greatest activation, remitters made fewer commission errors (24%) and had lower activity, and activation was lowest in controls who made the fewest errors (13%).

CONCLUSIONS:

These preliminary results suggest that developmental changes in ADHD symptomatology are associated with functional changes in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity.

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