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Front Psychiatry. 2017 Nov 21;8:246. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00246. eCollection 2017.

Disrupted Control-Related Functional Brain Networks in Drug-Naive Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

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Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.
Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China.
Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Research in Assessment of Cognitive Impairments, Hangzhou, China.
Department of Radiology, Yancheng First Peoples' Hospital, Yancheng, China.
Department of Psychiatry, First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disease featuring executive control deficits as a prominent neuropsychological trait. Executive functions are implicated in multiple sub-networks of the brain; however, few studies examine these sub-networks as a whole in ADHD. By combining resting-state functional MRI and graph-based approaches, we systematically investigated functional connectivity patterns among four control-related networks, including the frontoparietal network (FPN), cingulo-opercular network, cerebellar network, and default mode network (DMN), in 46 drug-naive children with ADHD and 31 age-, gender-, and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls (HCs). Compared to the HCs, the ADHD children showed significantly decreased functional connectivity that primarily involved the DMN and FPN regions and cross-network long-range connections. Further graph-based network analysis revealed that the ADHD children had fewer connections, lower network efficiency, and more functional modules compared with the HCs. The ADHD-related alterations in functional connectivity but not topological organization were correlated with clinical symptoms of the ADHD children and differentiated the patients from the HCs with a good performance. Taken together, our findings suggest a less-integrated functional brain network in children with ADHD due to selective disruption of key long-range connections, with important implications for understanding the neural substrates of ADHD, particularly executive dysfunction.


brain network; executive control; graph theory; long-range connectivity; resting-state fMRI

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