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In The European journal of neuroscience

The current study aimed to identify the key neurobiology of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as it relates to ADHD diagnostic category and symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive behavior and inattention. To do so, we adapted a predictive modeling approach to identify the key structural and diffusion weighted brain imaging measures, and their relative standing with respect to teacher ratings of executive function - EF (measured by the Metacognition Index of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function- BRIEF), negativity and emotion regulation - ER (measured by the Emotion Regulation Checklist, ERC), in a critical young age range (ages 4 to 7, mean age 5.52 years, 82.2% Hispanic/Latino), where initial contact with educators and clinicians typically take place. Teacher ratings of EF and ER were predictive of both ADHD diagnostic category and symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive behavior and inattention. Among the neural measures evaluated, the current study identified the critical importance of the largely understudied diffusion weighted imaging measures for the underlying neurobiology of ADHD and its associated symptomology. Specifically, our analyses implicated the inferior frontal gyrus as a critical predictor of ADHD diagnostic category and its associated symptomology, above and beyond teacher ratings of EF and ER. Collectively, the current set of findings have implications for theories of ADHD, the relative utility of neurobiological measures with respect to teacher ratings of EF and ER, and the developmental trajectory of its underlying neurobiology.

Ă–ztekin Ilke, Garic Dea, Bayat Mohammadreza, Hernandez Melissa L, Finlayson Mark A, Graziano Paulo A, Dick Anthony Steven


ADHD, diffusion weighted imaging, machine learning, neurite density, structural brain imaging