US scientists were able to estimate the severity of ADHD symptoms in children using brain MRI.

Researchers from Dartmouth University have found that children with ADHD are less cognitively resilient, which is reflected in their brain structures, allowing them to accurately diagnose the disease, predict the severity of their symptoms, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. The results were published in the journal Nature Molecular Psychiatry.

Cognitive flexibility is a person’s ability to focus on several things at once and switch between them quickly. Its absence is one of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. This disease is accompanied by impulsivity, inattention to details and poor academic performance in schoolchildren. About 30% of children outgrow this condition, but some cases require treatment. It is important to have clear diagnostic criteria and methods to detect the presence of the disease.

A team of neuroscientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine neural flexibility in 180 children diagnosed with ADHD and 180 normally developing children. They showed signs of a significant reduction in cognitive flexibility, which rose to normal levels after starting drug therapy. In addition, fMRI data made it possible to monitor these changes and distinguish children with ADHD from healthy ones.

Source: Gazeta


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