Mid-Atlantic Consortium Newsletter Summer 2013

Frontostriatal Glutamate in Children with ADHD: Neuropsychological and Behavioral Correlates

This research project, conducted at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in Baltimore and directed by Mark Mahone, Ph.D., focuses on improving understanding of Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children early in their schooling. To accomplish this goal, children’s cognitive skills will be measured using paper and pencil exercises, as well as computer-based tests. These results will be correlated with measures of brain metabolism obtained with magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, parents will provide important information about the child’s behavior to supplement the test data. Such studies generate a wealth of information that may lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain development might lead to ADHD, and how we may better treat the disorder.

ADHD, which often persists into adulthood, is now estimated to affect millions of children.. ADHD has many consequences but its core features include difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD often have poor social and academic achievement; many have great difficulty adjusting well to adolescence. They also may have increased needs for health care.

Participants in this research project will include two groups of children who begin the study between the ages of five and nine years. One group will comprise those with ADHD; the other will include individuals without any ADHD symptoms. By comparing these two groups, investigators hope to better understand the critical links between brain and behavioral development, and discover ways to prevent or more effectively treat ADHD.

For more information, contact Lisa Ferenc by phone at 443-923-4469 or by email at ferenc@kennedykrieger.org.