Cortical Surface Area Maturation Delayed in ADHD

(HealthDay News) – Compared with typically developing children, cortical surface area development is delayed in those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Noting that ADHD is characterized by delayed maturation of prefrontal cortical thickness, Philip Shaw, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues conducted a study involving 234 children with ADHD and 231 typically developing children to examine whether this delay extends to the maturation of cortical surface area and gyrification. Each child was scanned using advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques four times between the ages of 10–17. The trajectory of cortical surface area development and gyrification was defined as well as the sequence of cortical maturation.

The researchers found that children with ADHD experienced delay in the cortical surface area developmental trajectory. The median age at which 50% of cortical vertices attained peak area in the right prefrontal cortex was reached significantly later in the ADHD group (14.6 years) versus the typically developing group (12.7 years).

“There is a delay in the maturation of cortical surface area in ADHD that mirrors the delayed maturation of cortical thickness we previously reported,” the authors write. “This suggests that ADHD is not on the list of neuropsychiatric disorders that have deficits of either just surface area or cortical thickness, such as dyslexia and autism.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Jansen-Cilag.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)