July 2019 AJP Editor Spotlight: Brain Imaging of the Cortex in ADHD


Hoogman and colleagues report important new
data on the neural correlates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. This an MRI-based study that collects information
on brain structure from literally thousands of individuals. There are a couple of important take-home
points. The first one is that the volume of the brain’s
surface area is the variable that most potently relates to the ADHD diagnosis. The second is that the neural correlates of
ADHD vary with the age of the individual. There are quite substantial correlates among
children, with weaker correlates in adolescents and adults. Finally, in this study, which is particularly
large, gathering patients from all over the world, we see that the magnitudes of these
differences in brain structure are not large. This tells us that we still have considerable
work to do before a structural brain imaging measure will be clinically relevant for the
diagnosis of ADHD.

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