Scientists analyzing data from a map of connections inside the human brain have gained new insights into the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Past images of brain structures showed that the brains of people with ADHD mature later than those of people without the condition. Now researchers making use of data collected as part of something called the ADHD-200 Initiative (similar to the Human Connectome Project) have found that the growth of connections within and between key brain networks in children with ADHD lags behind what happens in other kids the same age.
The results, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,point to a reduced ability among children with ADHD to turn on and off the networks inside the brain that are involved in control and attention. The brain connections that normally help children focus simply aren’t as developed.