Anatomical substrates of symptom remission and persistence in young adults with childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Yuyang Luo, Jeffrey M. Halperin, Xiaobo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder that emerges in childhood and persists into adulthood in a sizeable portion of afflicted individuals. The persistence of ADHD symptoms elevates the risk of adverse outcomes that result in substantial individual and societal burden. The objective of this study was to delineate neuroanatomical substrates associated with the diversity of adult outcomes of childhood ADHD, which may have considerable value for development of novel interventions that target mechanisms associated with recovery. Structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging data from 32 young adults who were diagnosed with ADHD combined-type during childhood and 35 group-matched controls were analyzed. Adults with childhood ADHD were divided into 16 remitters and 16 persisters based on DSM-IV criteria. Compared to the controls, ADHD probands showed significantly reduced gray matter (GM) volume in right putamen and white matter (WM) volume in left parieto-insular fiber tracts. Within the ADHD probands, the remitters, as compared to persisters, showed significantly greater volume of right hippocampo-frontal and right parieto-insular WM fiber tracts, and those connecting caudate with the frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal, and insular cortices. Among ADHD probands, increased fractional anisotropy value of left caudate-parietal tract was significantly correlated with reduced hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. These findings suggest that optimal structural development in the WM tracts that connect caudate with cortical areas, especially in the caudate-parietal path, may play an important role in symptom remission in young adults with childhood ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • ADHD
  • Adult outcome
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Persistence
  • Remission
  • diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)


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