The Hyperactive Cranium

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder effects on brain activity

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) With the unique nature of mental disorders, parents may find it hard to believe that their child suffers, especially when their primary symptoms are adolescent behavior. Science is here to help in the case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), explaining to parents that their child's brain just works differently.

The area of the brain known to aid in the development and processing of mental activity works harder in ADHD children. As the children work to hold multiple thought processes together at once, scientists can quite literally view the internal struggle.

"Voice your concerns to your pediatrician regarding ADHD."

A new study, communicated during an annual gathering for the Society of Neuroscience this week, worked with 19 youth with ADHD and 23 controls, aged 7 to 14. The children were asked to remember a sequence of letters to monitor communication patterns while being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  

Lead author and biologist Tudor Puiu comments: "our findings suggest that the function as well as the structure of the brain is different in children with ADHD."

Puiu dives into detail, "we specifically found that this area must work harder to influence other brain regions during brief memory tasks. This need for greater control, even for simple tasks, suggest that the ADHD brain is inefficiently organized."  

This inefficiency may be noted in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, an important behavioral control area of the brain that scientists discovered had to work harder in the hyperactive group. 

If your child has difficulties with development both inside and outside of the home, and you've noticed persistent symptoms, please contact your pediatrician to learn more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 15, 2011
Last Updated:
October 4, 2012