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Asymmetry in Cortical and Subcortical Structures of the Brain in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Authors Chen S, Guan L, Tang J, He F, Zheng Y

Received 23 November 2020

Accepted for publication 11 January 2021

Published 12 February 2021 Volume 2021:17 Pages 493—502

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S292444

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning


Sijian Chen,1 Lin Guan,1 Jie Tang,1 Fan He,2,3 Yi Zheng2,3

1Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100088, People’s Republic of China; 2The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100088, People’s Republic of China; 3Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100069, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Yi Zheng
The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders & Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100088, People’s Republic of China
Email yizheng@ccmu.edu.cn

Background: Human cognitive and emotional functions are asymmetrical between the left and right hemispheres. In neuroimaging studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients, the absence of aberrant asymmetry might serve as a neuroanatomical marker of ADHD. However, few studies have estimated abnormalities in cortical and subcortical asymmetry in children and adolescents of different ADHD subtypes.
Methods: Data were from the results collected by the Peking University site in the “ADHD-200 sample” dataset, which comprised 31 eligible ADHD (20 inattentive ADHD (ADHD-I), 11 combined ADHD (ADHD-C)) and 31 matched typically developing (TD) individuals. The Asymmetry Indexes (AIs) in cortical thickness, cortical gray-matter volume and subcortical nucleus (SN) volume were calculated based on an automated surface-based approach. The differences in cortical thickness, cortical gray-matter volume, and SN volume AIs were evaluated among groups. We also analyzed the correlation between AIs and the severity of ADHD symptoms.
Results: Compared with the TD group, SN asymmetry in ADHD group did not reveal significant differences. Altered cortical asymmetry of different subtypes in ADHD groups was located in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate circuits, including the medial orbitofrontal, paracentral, pars triangularis, caudal anterior cingulate, isthmus cingulate, and superior frontal regions. In the comparisons, cortical gray-matter volume AIs were significantly different in the caudal anterior cingulate, isthmus cingulate, and superior frontal regions between ADHD-I and ADHD-C groups. There were significant correlations between the severity of ADHD symptoms and asymmetric measurements in medial orbitofrontal, paracentral and isthmus cingulate regions.
Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence for the altered cortical morphological asymmetry in children and adolescents with ADHD, and these differences are associated (at least in part) with the severity of ADHD symptoms. Brain asymmetry could be an appropriate precursor of morphological alterations in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Keywords: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, child and adolescent, cortical and subcortical, asymmetry

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