Anatomical and functional brain imaging in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—A neurological view

  • Marc Schneider
  • Wolfgang Retz
  • Andrew Coogan
  • Johannes Thome
  • Michael Rösler


In this review, we discuss current structural and functional imaging data on ADHD in a neurological and neuroanatomical framework. At present, the literature on adult ADHD is somewhat sparse, and so results from imaging have to therefore be considered mainly from the childhood or adolescence perspective. Most work has considered the impairment of executive functions (motor execution, inhibition, working memory), and as such a number of attention networks and their anatomical correlates are discussed in this review (e. g. the cerebello-(thalamo-)-striato-cortical network seems to play a pivotal role in ADHD pathology from childhood to adulthood).

The core findings in ADHD imaging are alterations in the architecture and function of prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. The dorsal part of anterior cingulated cortex (dACC) is an important region for decision making, and executive control is impaired in adult ADHD. Finally, dysfunction of basal ganglia is a consistent finding in childhood and adulthood ADHD, reflecting dysregulation of fronto-striatal circuitry. The cerebellum, and its role in affect and cognition, is also persistently implicated in the pathology of ADHD.

Key words

attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) review 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Schneider
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Retz
    • 1
  • Andrew Coogan
    • 2
  • Johannes Thome
    • 2
  • Michael Rösler
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurocentre/Institute of Forensic Psychology and PsychiatryUniversity of the Saarland Building 90.3Homburg/SaarGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, The Medical SchoolUniversity of Wales SwanseaSwansea, SA2 8PPUK

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