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Double-dissociation between the mechanism leading to impulsivity and inattention in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A resting-state functional connectivity study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Early online date16 Jun 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2016


King's Authors


Two core symptoms characterize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) subtypes: inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. While previous brain imaging research investigated ADHD as if it was a homogenous condition, its two core symptoms may originate from different brain mechanisms. We, therefore, hypothesized that the functional connectivity of cortico-striatal and attentional networks would be different between ADHD subtypes. We studied 165 children (mean age 10.93 years; age range, 7-17 year old) diagnosed as having ADHD based on their revised Conner's rating scale score and 170 typical developing individuals (mean age 11.46 years; age range, 7-17 year old) using resting state functional fMRI. Groups were matched for age, IQ and head motion during the MRI acquisition. We fractionated the ADHD group into predominantly inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive and combined subtypes based on their revised Conner's rating scale score. We then analyzed differences in resting state functional connectivity of the cortico-striatal and attentional networks between these subtypes. We found a double dissociation of functional connectivity in the cortico-striatal and ventral attentional networks, reflecting the subtypes of the ADHD participants. Particularly, the hyperactive-impulsive subtype was associated with increased connectivity in cortico-striatal network, whereas the inattentive subtype was associated with increased connectivity in the right ventral attention network. Our study demonstrated for the first time a right lateralized, double dissociation between specific networks associated with hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattentiveness in ADHD children, providing a biological basis for exploring symptom dimensions and revealing potential targets for more personalized treatments.

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