Researchers find physical differences in the brains of adults with ADHD
MIT neuroscientists have found key differences in the brains of adult who have outgrown ADHD since childhood, and those who still have it.
Although many kids outgrown ADHD, about 10 million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with ADHD (imagine how many aren't diagnosed but have it!). The symptoms are similar to those of childhood ADHD: an inability to focus, which in turn creates difficulty completing tasks, listening to instructions and/or remembering details.
The neuroscientists looked at the brains of 35 adults who had ADHD as a kid; 13 still have it but the rest outgrew it. They used resting-state fMRI to look at the brain when the person wasn't doing anything in particular.
In the adults who had outgrown ADHD, the posterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex were synchronized (which is how it is in people who have never had ADHD). In the adults who still had ADHD, the two regions were not synchronized.
Still, both groups showed simultaneous activation in two areas (the default mode network and the task positive network), which normally don't activate simultaneously in people who have never had ADHD. Usually, when one is active, the other is suppressed. It's believed that this simultaneous activation indicates an executive function deficit.
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