Researchers have conducted a brain imaging study to show the difference between the brains of children suffering from Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and developing kids.
ADHD is the single most common child behavioural problem, affecting nearly 2 million children. The developmental disorder is characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Statistical figures show that by age 4, as many as 40 pc of the children develop some problem relating to attention which becomes a cause of concern to parents and preschool teachers.
"Clinically, this abnormal brain development sets the stage for the symptoms of ADHD that contribute to cognitive challenges and problems in school," said Dr. Mark Mahone, Director of Neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD.
"Earlier identification and treatment of children presenting with attention problems in the preschool years may minimize the impact of ADHD in the long-term," he added.
Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute analysed high-resolution MRI brain images in 26 preschoolers, 13 with ADHD symptoms and 13 without any symptoms.
The results showed that children with ADHD had significantly reduced caudate volumes (correlated with parent ratings of hyperactive/impulsive symptoms) compared to children without the symptoms.
The study has been published in the journal Clinical Neuropsychologist.