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Psychiatry Res. 2008 Aug 30;163(3):270-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2007.04.017. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

Differential abnormalities of the head and body of the caudate nucleus in attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

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Unitat de Recerca en Neurociencia Cognitiva, Departament de Psiquiatria i Medicina Legal, Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Centre Fòrum. Hospital del Mar, Carrer Llull 410, 08019 Barcelona, Spain.


The aim of the study is to present a new method for the segmentation of the caudate nucleus and use it to compare the caudate heads and bodies of an attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) group with those of a control group. We used a 1.5-T system to acquire magnetic resonance brain scans from 39 children with ADHD, as defined by DSM-IV TR, and 39 age, handedness and IQ matched controls. The new method for caudate head and body segmentation was applied to obtain semi-automatic volumes and asymmetric patterns. Bilateral volumetric measures of the head, body, and head-body of the caudate nuclei were compared within groups and between ADHD and control groups. Although the group factor was not significant, there were first and second order interactions. The analysis of simple effects showed that the right body and right head+body of the ADHD group was significantly smaller than in the control group, although the ADHD right caudate head was bigger. No ADHD within-group caudate differences were found. Controls showed a significantly larger left caudate head and a significantly bigger caudate right body and right head+body. Our new method for segmenting the caudate nucleus detected differential abnormalities of the right caudate head and body in the ADHD group, explaining previous heterogeneous findings in the literature.

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