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

Abstract

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

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@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} }