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Disturbed corpus callosum microstructure in the presence of normal volume characterizes patients with adult ADHD


Hoogman,  Martine
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Language and Genetics Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Onnink, A. M. H., Zwiers, M. P., Hoogman, M., Mostert, J. C., Kan, C. C., Buitelaar, J., et al. (2013). Disturbed corpus callosum microstructure in the presence of normal volume characterizes patients with adult ADHD. Talk presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS2013). San Francisco, CA. 2013-04-13 - 2013-04-16.

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Background: Microstructural changes and volume reductions in the corpus callosum (CC) are implicated in childhood ADHD. There are however indications that, in adulthood ADHD, reduced white matter integrity is persistent whereas CC volume normalizes. Our goal was to investigate this in a relatively large adult ADHD sample. In addition to commonly used fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD), we calculated parallel (axial diffusion; AD) and perpendicular (radial diffusion; RD) diffusivities to white matter tracts which may offer additional information regarding tissue microstructure. Methods: White matter integrity and volume of the CC were investigated in 87 adult ADHD patients and 98 matched controls. We used diffusion tensor imaging in conjunction with tract-based spatial statistics to examine FA, MD, AD and RD within the genu, body and splenium of the CC. Volumetrics of the CC and its subdivisions were determined using FreeSurfer software. Results: The body of the CC showed lower FA (p = .005) and higher MD (p = .019) and RD (p = .008) values in ADHD patients, compared to controls. Volume of the CC did not differ between the groups (p = .633). Conclusions: Our findings show that callosal volume becomes normal while disturbed white matter integrity of the CC is persistent in adult ADHD. Abnormalities in the body of the CC, the subdivision that contains the commissural fibers connecting the somatosensory, auditory and motor areas may play an important role in the pathophysiology of ADHD.