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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2007 Mar;28(3):543-7.

Characterizing anatomic differences in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with the use of deformation-based morphometry.

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  • 1National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China.



Most previous neuroimaging studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rely on the manual delineation of the region of interest, which is subjective and lacks reproducibility. The purpose of this study was to use an automated method to assess whether there are abnormalities in the brains of patients with ADHD. In view of findings from previous imaging and neuropsychologic studies, we predicted that we would detect abnormalities in many brain regions of patients with ADHD.


Twelve boys with ADHD and 12 control subjects underwent MR imaging assessments. Statistically significant changes in regional volume were analyzed by using deformation based morphometry (DBM). This technique derived a voxel-wise estimation of regional tissue volume change from the deformation field required to warp subject to the template image. Morphologic differences between groups were estimated at each voxel, applying a threshold (P < .001) to the resulting voxel statistic maps to generate clusters of spatially contiguous suprathreshold voxels,


The statistical results reveal some pronounced volume alterations in the brains of ADHD. Volume reductions are mainly localized in right prefrontal (Talairach 48, 20, 31), right medial temporal (Talairach 59, -52, 13), left parietal lobe (Talairach -32, -61, 41), and right basal ganglia (especially right putamen) (Talairach 21, 1, 11); the regions of volume enlargement in the brains of ADHD are observed in the right occipital lobe (Talairach 20, -86, 29) and in the left posterior lateral ventricle (Talairach -23, -40, 15).


Our findings confirm that there are widespread abnormalities in volume of boys with ADHD.

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