Children with attention deficits exhibit brain disconnections

February 1, 2010

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have failures in certain brain connections that occur when children attempt tasks requiring their attention.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have failures in certain brain connections that occur when children attempt tasks requiring their attention, new research shows.

Study results, which were published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry, revealed 2 brain areas that usually make connections when children react to a cue, but these did not follow through in children with ADHD.

"This is the first time that we have direct evid-ence that this connectivity is missing in ADHD," reported study researcher Ali Mazaheri of theCenter for Mind and Brain at the University of California-Davis.

In children without ADHD, researchers observed a decline in alpha wave activity when the tests prompted the visual processing area at the back of the head to pay attention to a color. In children with ADHD, in contrast, there was no decline in alpha activity, and there was a disconnection between the brain's center that handles attention and the visual processing regions.