Neuropediatrics 2009; 40(1): 1-5
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1220686
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Differential Patterns of Brain Activation over Time in Adolescents with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during Performance of a Sustained Attention Task

J. N. Epstein 1 , M. P. DelBello 2 , C. M. Adler 2 , M. Altaye 1 , M. Kramer 3 , N. P. Mills 2 , S. M. Strakowski 2 , S. Holland 1
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 3Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Further Information

Publication History

received 24.03.2008

accepted 24.03.2009

Publication Date:
28 July 2009 (online)


Objective: Recent morphometric studies suggest that children with ADHD may demonstrate differential or delayed brain development compared with children without ADHD. This study examines the developmental course of brain activation patterns during the performance of an attention task.

Method: Ten adolescents with ADHD and 14 healthy comparison adolescents performed a continuous performance task in an fMRI twice, one year apart.

Results: In the absence of performance differences, children with ADHD and healthy comparison subjects activated frontal-parietal regions while performing an attention task at initial testing. Children with ADHD appeared to require continued use of the right middle frontal gyrus during administration of testing one year apart while healthy comparison subjects did not activate this region at the time of the second testing.

Conclusions: There appear to be developmental differences in brain activation patterns on an attentional task between ADHD and healthy controls. More research is needed for examining the longitudinal course of functional brain activation in children with ADHD.



J. N. Epstein, PhD 

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

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