Infant brain structures, executive function, and attention deficit/hyperactivity problems at preschool age. A prospective study.


BACKGROUND Neuroimaging findings have provided evidence for a relation between variations in brain structures and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, longitudinal neuroimaging studies are typically confined to children who have already been diagnosed with ADHD. In a population-based study, we aimed to characterize the prospective association between brain structures measured during infancy and executive function and attention deficit/hyperactivity problems assessed at preschool age. METHODS In the Generation R Study, the corpus callosum length, the gangliothalamic ovoid diameter (encompassing the basal ganglia and thalamus), and the ventricular volume were measured in 784 6-week-old children using cranial postnatal ultrasounds. Parents rated executive functioning at 4 years using the behavior rating inventory of executive function-preschool version in five dimensions: inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and planning/organizing. Attention deficit/hyperactivity problems were assessed at ages 3 and 5 years using the child behavior checklist. RESULTS A smaller corpus callosum length during infancy was associated with greater deficits in executive functioning at 4 years. This was accounted for by higher problem scores on inhibition and emotional control. The corpus callosum length during infancy did not predict attention deficit/hyperactivity problem at 3 and 5 years, when controlling for the confounders. We did not find any relation between gangliothalamic ovoid diameter and executive function or Attention deficit/hyperactivity problem. CONCLUSIONS Variations in brain structures detectible in infants predicted subtle impairments in inhibition and emotional control. However, in this population-based study, we could not demonstrate that early structural brain variations precede symptoms of ADHD.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02590.x

4 Figures and Tables


Citations per Year

85 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 85 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Ghassabian2013InfantBS, title={Infant brain structures, executive function, and attention deficit/hyperactivity problems at preschool age. A prospective study.}, author={Akhgar Ghassabian and Catherine M. Herba and Sabine J. Roza and Paul P. Govaert and Jacqueline J Schenk and Vincent W. V. Jaddoe and Albert Hofman and Tonya White and Frank C. Verhulst and Henning Tiemeier}, journal={Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines}, year={2013}, volume={54 1}, pages={96-104} }