(HealthDay News) – Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to illustrate that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have low iron levels in the brain that normalize after treatment, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Dec. 1–6 in Chicago.

Vitria Adisetiyo, PhD, from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues used MRI to measure brain iron levels (by measuring magnetic field correlation and relaxation rates) in four brain regions linked to ADHD in 27 healthy control children, 12 untreated ADHD children, and 10 treated ADHD children.

The researchers found that the untreated ADHD children had significantly lower magnetic field correlation compared with both other groups in the caudate nucleus, putamen, and thalamus, but not the globus pallidus. There were no significant differences in magnetic field correlation between the healthy control children and the treated ADHD children, and there were no differences in relaxation rates and serum iron levels between groups.

“Similar to other dopamine marker measures, lower brain iron levels (indexed only by magnetic field correlation) are observed in medication naive ADHD and appear to normalize with medication,” Adisetiyo and colleagues conclude.

One author has a license agreement with Siemens.

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