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Mental Health - Neuroscience - Physiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Current Self-Reported Symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Are Associated with Total Brain Volume in Healthy Adults
Published: Friday, February 10, 2012
Author: Martine Hoogman et al.

by Martine Hoogman, Mark Rijpkema, Luc Janss, Han Brunner, Guillen Fernandez, Jan Buitelaar, Barbara Franke, Alejandro Arias-Vásquez


Reduced total brain volume is a consistent finding in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In order to get a better understanding of the neurobiology of ADHD, we take the first step in studying the dimensionality of current self-reported adult ADHD symptoms, by looking at its relation with total brain volume.

Methodology/Principal Findings

In a sample of 652 highly educated adults, the association between total brain volume, assessed with magnetic resonance imaging, and current number of self-reported ADHD symptoms was studied. The results showed an association between these self-reported ADHD symptoms and total brain volume. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the symptom domain of inattention had the strongest association with total brain volume. In addition, the threshold for impairment coincides with the threshold for brain volume reduction.


This finding improves our understanding of the biological substrates of self-reported ADHD symptoms, and suggests total brain volume as a target intermediate phenotype for future gene-finding in ADHD.