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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;36(10):1399-406.

Cerebral glucose metabolism in adolescent girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cerebral Metabolism, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Low cerebral metabolic rates for glucose (CMRglc) have been reported in a small sample of girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study was an effort to replicate this finding in a larger independent sample.


Using positron emission tomography and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose, CMRglc were compared between 10 girls with ADHD (14.10 +/- 1.91 years) and 11 normal girls (14.3 +/- 1.70 years).


Global CMRglc was similar between ADHD and control girls. Lateralization of normalized CMRglc differed significantly between ADHD and control girls in parietal and subcortical regions, with rCMRglc lower on the left than on the right side in girls with ADHD, and conversely in control girls. The sylvian area of the parietal region and the anterior putamen of the subcortical region were the main contributors to this effect. Normalized rCMRglc of the hippocampus was higher in ADHD than in control girls. Sexual maturation was the only clinical characteristic that differed between present and previous samples, and it correlated with global CMRglc.


Although failing to confirm abnormally low CMRglc in girls with ADHD, this study suggested that (1) functional interactions between sex and brain development may contribute to ADHD pathophysiology, and (2) sexual maturation should be controlled in future CMRglc studies of adolescent girls.

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