Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with 5% of children and 2.5% of adults being affected. Core symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and cognitive dysfunctions, causing a significant burden in multiple domains of daily life. Delayed brain maturation in childhood and adolescence is suggested as neurobiological underpinning of ADHD, but longitudinal studies are scarce and have partly revealed divergent results. The aim of the present project is to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the developmental course of ADHD within an independent, closely monitored, and well-characterized longitudinal sample (Dutch NeuroIMAGE cohort). Brain anatomical scans of initially 1,069 children (with and without ADHD) will be analysed with regard to the development of cortical thickness, surface area, and subcortical volumes, from childhood over adolescence into adulthood. An additional ultra-high field (7 Tesla) brain scan acquired in young adulthood will be used to precisely investigate cortical myeloarchitecture. All measures will be analysed with respect to clinical outcomes, that is, comparing patients with persistent ADHD, patients with ADHD in childhood who have remitted into adolescence or adulthood, and healthy controls. To further understand what mediates or moderates individual differences in ADHD-associated brain maturation, the role of genetic and environmental risk factors will be considered. This project is expected to lead to an enhanced overall picture on the developmental trajectories of ADHD. Identification of interindividual differences between individuals with persistent ADHD and those who recover as well as influencing factors will not only provide further insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD, but could also have high value for individualization and optimization of treatment approaches.
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme