Development and Psychopathology

Research Article

Converging methods in studying attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: What can we learn from neuroimaging and genetics?

Sarah Durstona1 c1

a1 University Medical Center Utrecht and Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Abstract

This paper discusses how converging methods may form a powerful tool in unraveling the neurobiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Integrating findings from multiple disciplines can inform us on how different neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms tie together in both typical and atypical development. Examples are discussed of this approach: combining family and genetic approaches with anatomical neuroimaging illustrates how mapping familial effects can bring us closer to understanding the neurobiology of ADHD. Functional neuroimaging has convincingly linked cognitive problems in this disorder with frontostriatal functioning, but also shows that other systems may be involved in some of the symptoms of ADHD. Combining these findings has suggested new avenues for investigation, such as the role of frontocerebellar networks. Furthermore, findings may have practical applications: this paper discusses an example of how converging evidence of striatal dysregulation in ADHD suggests possible directions for treatment that are now being explored in functional imaging studies.

Correspondence

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Sarah Durston, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neuroimaging Lab, HP A 01.468, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands; E-mail: S.Durston@umcutrecht.nl.

Footnotes

The work described in this paper was in part supported by a Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) VIDI to the author.