Frodl T, Stauber J, Schaaff N, Koutsouleris N, Scheuerecker J, Ewers M, Omerovic M, Opgen-Rhein M, Hampel H, Reiser M, Möller H.-J, Meisenzahl E. Amygdala reduction in patients with ADHD compared with major depression and healthy volunteers.
Objective: Results in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on structural brain changes and the clinical relevance are contradictory. The aim of this study was to investigate whether in adult patients with ADHD hippocampal or amygdala volumes differs from that in healthy controls and patients with major depression (MD).
Method: Twenty patients with ADHD, 20 matched patients with MD and 20 healthy controls were studied with high resolution magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: Amygdala volumes in patients with ADHD were bilaterally smaller than in patients with MD and healthy controls. In ADHD, more hyperactivity and less inattention were associated with smaller right amygdala volumes, and more symptoms of depression with larger amygdala volumes.
Conclusion: This study supports findings that the amygdala plays an important role in the systemic brain pathophysiology of ADHD. Whether patients with ADHD and larger amygdala volumes are more vulnerable to affective disorders needs further investigation.