Researchers have found that children with ADHD may have weaker brain connections for focus, but more research is needed before those connections can be used for diagnosis.
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine reviewed 180 MRI brain scans from 180 children with and without ADHD. They discovered that the interactions between the three brain networks involved in attention were weaker among children with ADHD.
In addition, there was a connection between severity of attention problems and the increased weakness of the brain connections.
The study was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. It adds to evidence that children with ADHD have brains that are wired differently from other kids.
“The core brain systems involved in attention are dysfunctional in ADHD,” said senior researcher Vinod Menon. “There is an underlying biological aspect to these symptoms.” However it is not clear if the weakness in these networks actually cause ADHD.
“The hope,” Menon said, “is that once we can identify the causes, we’ll get a better handle on how to intervene with therapy.”