By Keath Low, About.com Updated: August 9, 2008
A recent study out of the University of Queensland in Australia finds that attention problems in ADHD boys may be a result of brain development. University of Queensland neuroscientist, Dr. Ross Cunnington, reports that there appears to be a biological difference in young boys that make them more susceptible to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type. (Boys Have Biological Reason to Be Troublesome1)
Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)2 to map out the brain activity of a group of boys age eight to twelve as they performed attention demanding problem solving tasks. The study focused on imaging the parietal lobe3, a region of the brain known to become active when something distracts a person from performing or completing a given task.
“We're looking at the interaction that occurs in the brain between the pre-frontal and parietal lobes,” says Dr Cunnington. “Interactions between these brain areas are crucial for maintaining and focusing attention.”
Findings indicate that boys with ADHD have less activity in the parietal brain areas while performing these tasks.
It is widely accepted in the scientific community that ADHD is a neurobiological condition. Research continues to focus on gaining a better understanding about the underlying mechanisms that result in ADHD. This study’s findings confirm previous reports of dysfunction in part of the parietal lobes found in children with ADHD, combined type. It also indicates that there may be a developmental difference in these individuals making them more susceptible to ADHD.
“Overall, there is strengthening evidence that ADHD has a biological cause,” says Dr. Cunnington.
The Cunnington group's research "Right parietal dysfunction in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type: a functional MRI study" was published in a recent edition of Molecular Psychiatry.
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