Washington: Researchers have identified abnormalities in the brains of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that may serve as a biomarker for the disorder.ADHD is one of the commonest childhood disorders, affecting an estimated five to eight percent of school-aged children.Symptoms, which may continue into adulthood, include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity behaviours that are out of the normal range for a child’s age and development.Xiaobo Li and her colleagues from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York performed fMRI on 18 typically developing children and 18 children diagnosed with ADHD between the range of 9 to 15 years.While undergoing fMRI, the children engaged in a test of sustained attention in which they were shown a set of three numbers and then asked whether subsequent groups of numbers matched the original set.For each participant, fMRI produced a brain activation map that revealed which regions of the brain became activated while the child performed the task.The researchers then compared the brain activation maps of the two groups.Compared to the normal control group, the children with ADHD showed abnormal functional activity in several regions of the brain involved in the processing of visual attention information.
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