A student rests while camping out at the Center for Attention and Related Disorders? The C.A.R.D. program has only 39 students and the unique program?s high cost of $600 a week per student is out of reach for many and the cost is supplemented by scholarships, grants, and private donations.
CNN defined ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder that can cause inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Researchers in the Netherlands scanned the brains of over 3,000 children and adults.
Its ADHD project was four times the size of the previously largest study and was conducted at 23 locations in nine countries by 80 researchers, primarily psychiatrists and neuroscientists.
The study has found that there are differences in the regions of the brain for people with ADHD. They measured the whole brain volume and also the span of seven areas thought to be connected to the disorder. Additionally, research was expected to decide the impact of medication on the brains of the individuals with ADHD, and how they developed as individual get older. "It will hopefully create more empathy for children who have ADHD". They also said that people with this condition might have delayed development.
The scientists reviewed one scan per person and found no effect from ADHD medications.
Despite the large numbers of participants of all ages, the study was not created to investigate how ADHD might develop over a person's lifetime.
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As far as using MRIs or brain scans to diagnose ADHD, Posner says it's too early to consider that.
The amygdala had the greatest volume reduction, which the researchers thought was telling because of the extent of emotional problems that come with the disorder. Five out of the 7 regions were also smaller.
"We hope that this will help to reduce stigma that ADHD is "just a label" for hard children or caused by poor parenting", said lead author Martine Hoogman of Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. The differences though are most noticeable in children.
Nevertheless, these did point to a number of brain differences in ADHD.
The amygdala is affected on people with ADHD. The hippocampus is also affected. The hippocampus' role in ADHD is believed to have something to do with emotion and motivation as well.
"The study confirms that there are structural differences in the brains of people with ADHD, but it doesn't tell us what they mean", said Graham Murray, a lecturer in psychiatry at Cambridge University, who was not part of the research.
"I think most scientists in the field already know that the brains of people with ADHD show differences, but I now hope to have shown convincing evidence ...that will reach the general public", said Ms. Hoogman, "and show that it has [a basis in the brain] just like other psychiatric disorders". The team says that there is now a need for longitudinal studies that follow children with ADHD into adulthood and track brain changes over time.