Neuroimaging of inhibitory control areas in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who were treatment naive or in long-term treatment.
ABSTRACT Difficulty with response inhibition is a cardinal symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), combined type. Prefrontal and cingulate brain regions are known to be involved in inhibitory control. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) might establish if these regions differ in their activity in ADHD children relative to healthy comparison subjects.
Fifteen healthy comparison subjects and 17 children with ADHD, combined type, completed fMRI studies while performing the Stop Signal Task. Eight ADHD subjects were treatment naive; the remainder had a history of long-term treatment with stimulants, but they were medication free at the time of the fMRI. No subject had a learning disorder or a comorbid psychiatric condition (other than oppositional defiant disorder in the ADHD subjects).
Both the ADHD and comparison subjects activated the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on "stop" trials relative to "go" trials; this increase was greater in ADHD subjects. When inhibition was unsuccessful (relative to successful inhibition), healthy comparison subjects strongly activated the anterior cingulate cortex and the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, the ADHD subjects did not show these differences. Activations in treatment-naive and ADHD subjects treated in the long term did not differ significantly in any brain regions.
In relation to comparison subjects, ADHD subjects failed to activate the anterior cingulate cortex and the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex after unsuccessful inhibition. These findings appear in treatment-naive ADHD individuals and are unlikely to be an artifact of long-term treatment with stimulants or of abrupt termination of stimulants before imaging.
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ABSTRACT: Executive function (EF) refers to the higher-order cognitive control process for the attainment of a specific goal. There are several subcomponents of EF, such as inhibition, cognitive shifting, and working memory. Extensive neuroimaging research in adults has revealed that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in EF. Developmental studies have reported behavioral evidence showing that EF changes significantly during preschool years. However, the neural mechanism of EF in young children is still unclear. This article reviews recent near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) research that examined the relationship between the development of EF and the lateral prefrontal cortex. Specifically, this review focuses on inhibitory control, cognitive shifting, and working memory in young children. Research has consistently shown significant prefrontal activation during tasks in typically developed children, but this activation may be abnormal in children with developmental disorders. Finally, methodological issues and future directions are discussed.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12/2013; 7:867. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00867
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ABSTRACT: Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have smaller volumes of total brain matter and subcortical regions, but it is unclear whether these represent delayed maturation or persist into adulthood. We performed a structural MRI study in 119 adult ADHD patients and 107 controls and investigated total gray and white matter and volumes of accumbens, caudate, globus pallidus, putamen, thalamus, amygdala and hippocampus. Additionally, we investigated effects of gender, stimulant treatment and history of major depression (MDD). There was no main effect of ADHD on the volumetric measures, nor was any effect observed in a secondary voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of the entire brain. However, in the volumetric analysis a significant gender by diagnosis interaction was found for caudate volume. Male patients showed reduced right caudate volume compared to male controls, and caudate volume correlated with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Furthermore, patients using stimulant treatment had a smaller right hippocampus volume compared to medication-naïve patients and controls. ADHD patients with previous MDD showed smaller hippocampus volume compared to ADHD patients with no MDD. While these data were obtained in a cross-sectional sample and need to be replicated in a longitudinal study, the findings suggest that developmental brain differences in ADHD largely normalize in adulthood. Reduced caudate volume in male patients may point to distinct neurobiological deficits underlying ADHD in the two genders. Smaller hippocampus volume in ADHD patients with previous MDD is consistent with neurobiological alterations observed in MDD.European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 12/2013; 24(3). DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.11.011
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ABSTRACT: The stop-signal paradigm is increasingly being used as a probe of response inhibition in basic and clinical neuroimaging research. The critical feature of this task is that a cued response is countermanded by a secondary 'stop-signal' stimulus offset from the first by a 'stop-signal delay'. Here we explored the role of task difficulty in the stop-signal task with the hypothesis that what is critical for successful inhibition is the time available for stopping, that we define as the difference between stop-signal onset and the expected response time (approximated by reaction time from previous trial). We also used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how the time available for stopping affects activity in the putative right inferior frontal gyrus and presupplementary motor area (right IFG-preSMA) network that is known to support stopping. While undergoing fMRI scanning participants performed a stop-signal variant where the time available for stopping was kept approximately constant across participants, which enabled us to compare how the time available for stopping affected stop-signal task difficulty both within and between subjects. Importantly, all behavioural and neuroimaging data were consistent with previous findings. We found that the time available for stopping distinguished successful from unsuccessful inhibition trials, was independent of stop-signal delay, and affected successful inhibition depending upon individual SSRT. We also found that right IFG and adjacent anterior insula were more strongly activated during more difficult stopping. These findings may have critical implications for stop-signal studies that compare different patient or other groups using fixed stop-signal delays.Behavioural brain research 08/2013; 256. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.026