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Towards Conceptualizing a Neural Systems-Based Anatomy of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Makris N.a–c · Biederman J.a · Monuteaux M.C.a · Seidman L.J.a, d
aHarvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and bCenter for Morphometric Analysis, Harvard Medical School Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, cDepartment of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, and dPublic Psychiatry Division of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, Mass., USA Dev Neurosci 2009;31:36–49 (DOI:10.1159/000207492)


Convergent data from neuroimaging, neuropsychological, genetic and neurochemical studies in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have implicated dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), which form the cortical arm of the frontostriatal network supporting executive functions. Furthermore, besides the DLPFC and dACC, structural and functional imaging studies have shown abnormalities in key brain regions within distributed cortical networks supporting attention. The conceptualization of neural systems biology in ADHD aims at the understanding of what organizing principles have been altered during development within the brain of a person with ADHD.Characterizing these neural systems using neuroimaging could be critical for the description of structural endophenotypes, and may provide the capability of in vivo categorization and correlation with behavior and genes.


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