Brain imaging reveals ADHD as a collection of different disorders

In a study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, researchers have found that patients with different types of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have impairments in unique brain systems, indicating that there may not be a one-size-fits-all explanation for the cause of the disorder. 

The study noted it will take more research to prove that ADHD is a collection of different disorders, but this study provides a big step in that direction.

"Ultimately, by being open to the idea that psychiatric disorders like ADHD might be caused by more than one factor, it might be possible to advance our understanding of causes and treatments more rapidly," said Dr. Stevens a researcher.

The findings suggest that future approaches using clinical assessments to identify the specific type of brain dysfunction contributing to a patient's symptoms, may allow a more targeted approach to treatment. 

For example, medications that may not appear to work well in a group of ADHD patients as a whole, may be effective for one particular subgroup that arises from a specific causal pathway.

Source: ScienceDaily.

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