Brain Matures a Few Years Late in ADHD, But Follows Normal Pattern

By GCS (LinkedIn and Twitter)

In youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the brain matures in a normal pattern but is delayed three years in some regions, on average, compared to youth without the disorder, an imaging study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has revealed. The delay in ADHD was most prominent in regions at the front of the brain’s outer mantle (cortex), important for the ability to control thinking, attention and planning.  Otherwise, both groups showed a similar back-to-front wave of brain maturation with different areas peaking in thickness at different times. See movie below.


What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Is it hard for your child to sit still? Does your child act without thinking first? Does your child start but not finish things? If so, your child may have ADHD. Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems in school, at home and in social situations.

ADHD is more common in boys than girls. It affects 3-5 percent of all American children. 

The main features of ADHD are

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. It sometimes runs in families, so genetics may be a factor. There may also be environmental factors.

A complete evaluation by a trained professional is the only way to know for sure if your child has ADHD. Treatment may include medicine to control symptoms, therapy, or both. Structure at home and at school is important. Parent training may also help.

  • NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Last Date Updated on January 2, 2015

Watch ADHD Brain Maturation Delay
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