Analysis of developmental variations in the caudate nucleus in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Cody, Ann Heather
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Literature in the field of ADHD has implicated the role of neurological mechanisms in the behavioral symptoms seen in this disorder. Empirical research has been conducted in the areas of lesion studies, case analysis, neurotransmitters, and neuroimaging. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) one imaging technique that has been used to identify structural differences in neuroanatomy that can used in child populations. Most theoretical and empirical research to date has identified a dysfunction in the frontostriatal pathway as being the neurological basis for ADHD. Specifically, the caudate nucleus is a subcortical structure that has been linked to the problems with motor regulation and behavioral inhibition seen in individuals with ADHD. This study used MRI to obtain area and volume measurements of the caudate nucleus in a group of children diagnosed with ADHD, aged 8-12 years of age. Comparisons of caudate size were made with a group of normal control children and a clinical group identified as reading disabled. Asymmetry patterns between right and left hemispheres were examined for group differences. Correlational analyses between measurements of the caudate nucleus and behavior ratings and neuropsychological test data were also conducted.