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Wayne State Prof's ADHD Study Begins Testing Phase

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects 4.5 million children ages 3 to 17 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disorder is associated with difficulty focusing and hyperactivity, and it is known that these and other related symptoms persist into adulthood 60 percent of the time.

Although drug and psychotherapy treatments exist, there is no cure for ADHD. The cause and progression of the disorder is poorly understood biochemically, anatomically and functionally, said Jeffrey Stanley, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University.

Stanley and his team at the Brain Research and Imaging Neuroscience division are seeking participants to take part in a study of the chemistry, function and structure of the brain in 6- to 14-year-olds, both with and without ADHD, to track the development of the disorder and facilitate the improvement of current therapies.

Stanley aims to enhance the current understanding of ADHD’s early stages; more specifically, at what age and where brain networks deviate from normal development.

The five-year neuroimaging analysis will compare the results of children and teens who have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having ADHD with those who have no personal or immediate family history of ADHD or other mental illnesses. Both groups will undergo behavioral and cognitive tests, MRI of the brain, functional MRI and in vivo spectroscopy at the WSU MR Research Facility in Harper University Hospital. Participants will be assessed three times during the study to map the results.

This is part of Stanley’s ongoing research study that recently was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health with a $2.7 million grant. In addition, Stanley, in collaboration with Vaibhav Diwadkar, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University, was awarded a two-year supplement grant of $209,328 from NIMH to support the functional MRI analyses. These studies will create a clearer picture of the emergence of ADHD.

“The early identification of impaired networks and charting temporally impaired networks in ADHD is critical in gaining a greater understanding of the development and progression of ADHD,” Stanley said.

Stanley also is co-director of the Brain Research and Imaging Neuroscience division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and is program director and graduate officer of the Ph.D. program in Translational Neuroscience.

To learn more about this study, contact Rachel Dick at rdick@med.wayne.edu or (313) 577-6279.

More at www.research.wayne.edu.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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