Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Is Associated With 5 Areas Of The Brain, New Study

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Apr 09, 2017 07:19 PM EDT

Children with ADHD have a smaller brain than their counterparts without having the disorder. (Photo : Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Children under age 15 with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have a smaller brain than their counterparts without having the condition says a new study. But adults with ADHD didn't have differences on the size of their brain from one another, the researchers found.

In every 100 children, almost seven of them might have ADHD, Science News for Students reported. A form of talk therapy called behavioral therapy, and certain medicine can help manage the symptoms of this mental disability.

Martine Hoogman at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, headed the new study. It's the biggest ADHD research ever made involving 1,713 people diagnosed with the condition and 1,529 without it.

The participants aged between 4 to 63, and they came from 23 places around the world. This ADHD study also includes a group of researchers with more than 80 members.

The researchers scanned five brain regions, which are associated with the symptoms of ADHD. They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that depends on magnetic fields and radio waves in visualizing tissues inside the body.

The team then found that the five scanned brain areas of children with ADHD were smaller in kids without the disorder. However, this was only observed in children 15 years old and below. The overall brain's size of this group was also smaller than normal.

On the other hand, the adult's brain with or without ADHD doesn't show any difference in size. The researchers presented their findings online on Feb. 15 in Lancet Psychiatry.

The amygdala, which is responsible for emotions, is among the five brain's part that is smaller than normal. This might support why children with ADHD get frustrated, angry or irritable easily, Philip Asherson, a co-author of the study said.

The other four brain areas are the caudate, putamen, accumbens and hippocampus, and these have something to do with attention. "If something is very interesting and exciting,” he says, “most people with ADHD can focus on it, Asherson explains. However, once the initial interest goes; things start to become a little more boring." Children with ADHD find a hard time to concentrate on the things that are not encouraging for them, he added.

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