Brain abnormalities, as determined by structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been reported in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, female subjects have been underrepresented in previous reports. In this study, we used optimized voxel-based morphometry to compare the total and regional gray matter volumes between groups of 7- to 17-year-old ADHD and healthy children (total 114 subjects). Fifty-seven children with ADHD (n=57, 35 males and 22 females) and healthy children (n=57) received MRI scans. Segmented brain MRI images were normalized into standardized stereotactic space, modulated to allow volumetric analysis, smoothed and compared at the voxel level with statistical parametric mapping. Global volumetric comparisons between groups revealed that the total brain volumes of ADHD children were smaller than those of the control children. As for the regional brain analysis, the brain volumes of ADHD children were found to be bilaterally smaller in the following regions as compared with normal control values: the caudate nucleus and the cerebellum. There were two clusters of regional decrease in the female brain, left posterior cingulum and right precuneus, as compared with the male brain. Brain regions showing the interaction effect of diagnosis and gender were negligible. These results were consistent with the hypothesized dysfunctional systems in ADHD, and they also suggested that neuroanatomical abnormalities in ADHD were not influenced by gender.
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