European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 1321–1328 | Cite as

Abnormal functional network centrality in drug-naïve boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • Ming Zhou
  • Chuang Yang
  • Xuan Bu
  • Yan Liang
  • Haixi Lin
  • Xinyu Hu
  • Hong Chen
  • Meihao Wang
  • Xiaoqi HuangEmail author
Original Contribution


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood and is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Observations of distributed functional abnormalities in ADHD suggest aberrant large-scale brain network connectivity. However, few studies have measured the voxel-wise network centrality of boys with ADHD, which captures the functional relationships of a given voxel within the entire connectivity matrix of the brain. Here, to examine the network patterns characterizing children with ADHD, we recruited 47 boys with ADHD and 21 matched control boys who underwent resting-state functional imaging scanning in a 3.0 T MRI unit. We measured voxel-wise network centrality, indexing local functional relationships across the entire brain connectome, termed degree centrality (DC). Then, we chose the brain regions with altered DC as seeds to examine the remote functional connectivity (FC) of brain regions. We found that boys with ADHD exhibited (1) decreased centrality in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) and increased centrality in the left superior occipital lobe (SOL) and right inferior parietal lobe (IPL); (2) decreased FC between the STG and the putamen and thalamus, which belong to the cognitive cortico-striatal–thalamic–cortical (CSTC) loop, and increased FC between the STG and medial/superior frontal gyrus within the affective CSTC loop; and (3) decreased connectivity between the SOL and cuneus within the dorsal attention network. Our results demonstrated that patients with ADHD show a connectivity-based pathophysiological process in the cognitive and affective CSTC loops and attention network.


ADHD Resting-state fMRI Degree centrality Function connectivity 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (Grant no. 81671669) and Youth Technology Grant of Sichuan Province (no. 2017JQ0001).

Author contributions

XH and CY conceived and designed the experiments. CY, YL, HL, and HC recruited the patients and collected the data. MZ, XB, and YL performed the data analyses. MZ, CY, XB, and XH wrote the manuscript. HL, XH, and HC helped perform the analysis with constructive discussions. MZ and CY contributed to this study equally.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical statements

Approval for this study was granted by the local ethical committee of the First Hospital Affiliated to Wenzhou Medical University. All participants and their parents were fully informed about the purpose and procedures of this study and written informed consent was obtained from the parents.

Supplementary material

787_2019_1297_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
787_2019_1297_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huaxi MR Research Center (HMRRC), Department of RadiologyWest China Hospital of Sichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyThe Third Hospital of Mianyang/Sichuan Mental Health CenterMianyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Center of Psychoradiology, The Third Hospital of Mianyang/Sichuan Mental Health CenterMianyangPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryThe First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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