Amygdala reduction in patients with ADHD compared with major depression and healthy volunteers

Authors

  • T. Frodl,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College, University of Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity Academic Medical Centre [The Adelaide and Meath Hospital Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH) and St. James’s Hospital], Dublin 24, Ireland
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • J. Stauber,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • N. Schaaff,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • N. Koutsouleris,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • J. Scheuerecker,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • M. Ewers,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College, University of Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity Academic Medical Centre [The Adelaide and Meath Hospital Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH) and St. James’s Hospital], Dublin 24, Ireland
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  • M. Omerovic,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • M. Opgen-Rhein,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • H. Hampel,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College, University of Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Trinity Academic Medical Centre [The Adelaide and Meath Hospital Incorporating the National Children’s Hospital (AMNCH) and St. James’s Hospital], Dublin 24, Ireland
    2. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • M. Reiser,

    1. Institute of Radiology, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • H.-J. Möller,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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  • E. Meisenzahl

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
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Professor Thomas Frodl, MD, School of Medicine/Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 24, Ireland.
E-mail: thomas.frodl@tcd.ie

Abstract

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.

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