A review of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder from the perspective of brain networks

Angelica De La Fuente, Shugao Xia, Craig Branch, Xiaobo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood, which affects more than 5% of the population worldwide. ADHD is characterized by developmentally inappropriate behaviors of inattention, and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity. These behavioral manifestations contribute to diminished academic, occupational and social functioning, and have neurobiological bases. Neuronal deficits, especially in the attention and executive function processing networks, have been implicated in both children and adults with ADHD by using sophisticated structural and functional neuroimaging approaches. These structural and functional abnormalities in the brain networks have been associated with the impaired cognitive, affective, and motor behaviors seen in the disorder. The goal of this review is to summarize and integrate emerging themes from the existing neuroimaging connectivity studies based on advanced imaging techniques, applied in data of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging, electroencephalography and event related potential; and to discuss the results of these studies when considering future directions for understanding pathophysiological mechanisms and developmental trajectories of the behavioral manifestations in ADHD. We conclude this review by suggesting that future research should put more effort on understanding the roles of the subcortical structures and their structural/functional pathways in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 14 2013


  • ADHD
  • Brain networks
  • DTI
  • Structural MRI
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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