The authors sought o review the pattern of morphological and functional brain changes in both children and adults with ADHD that emerges from the recent literature. In addition, the task of the present review is to explore how to understand the nature of the brain changes. Neuroimaging studies provide a multitude of information that currently allows us to expand the notions of ADHD neurobiology beyond its traditional understanding as a manifestation of frontostriatal dysfunction. They point to disorders of several other areas of the brain, particularly the anterior cingulum, the dorsolateral as well as ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the superior parietal regions, the caudate nucleus, the thalamus, the amygdala and the cerebellum. Imaging studies point to the persistence of changes in both brain structure and function into adulthood, although there might be a tendency for improvement of caudate nucleus pathology. Changes in neuronal (dendritic) plasticity, which are under the modulatory influence of the dopaminergic system, may be in the background of disorders of brain morphology and anatomical connectivity with subsequent brain dysfunction. Growing evidence suggest that methylphenidate treatment can lead to improvement of brain changes seen in neuroimaging by its positive effect on neuroplasticity. Changes in neuronal plasticity may be behind persisting brain changes in ADHD. Current treatment approaches seem to improve these neuroplastic processes, and, therefore, may have a positive effect on the neuropathology of ADHD.
Kasparek, Tomas, Theiner, Pavel, and Filova, Alena. (2015). Neurobiology of ADHD From Childhood to Adulthood – Findings of Imaging Methods. Journal of Attention Disorders, 19, 931-943.