Increased regional fractional anisotropy in highly screened attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Daniel J. Peterson, Matthew Ryan, Sheryl L. Rimrodt, Laurie E. Cutting, Martha B. Denckla, Walter E. Kaufmann, E. Mark Mahone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Diffusion tensor imaging data were collected at 3.0 Tesla from 16 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 16 typically developing controls, ages 9 to 14 years. Fractional anisotropy images were calculated and normalized by linear transformation. Voxel-wise and atlas-based region-of-interest analyses were performed. Using voxel-wise analysis, fractional anisotropy was found to be significantly increased in the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder group in the right superior frontal gyrus and posterior thalamic radiation, and left dorsal posterior cingulate gyrus, lingual gyrus, and parahippocampal gyrus. No regions showed significantly decreased fractional anisotropy in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Region-of-interest analysis revealed increased fractional anisotropy in the left sagittal stratum, that is, white matter that connects the temporal lobe to distant cortical regions. Only fractional anisotropy in the left sagittal stratum was significantly associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptom severity. Several recent studies have reported pathological increases in fractional anisotropy in other conditions, highlighting the relevance of diffusion tensor imaging in identifying atypical white matter structure associated with neurodevelopmental processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1302
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • cognitive
  • development
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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