Brain activation deficit in increased-load working memory tasks among adults with ADHD using fMRI.

TitleBrain activation deficit in increased-load working memory tasks among adults with ADHD using fMRI.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKo C-H, Yen J-Y, Yen C-F, Chen C-S, Lin W-C, Wang P-W, Liu G-C
JournalEuropean archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience
Date Published2013 Oct

Working memory (WM) is impaired among adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to investigate the brain activation deficit for low-level or increased-load WM among adults with ADHD. A total of 20 adults with ADHD and controls were recruited according to diagnostic interviewing by a psychiatrist. Phonological and visual-spatial 2-back and 3-back tasks were performed under functional magnetic resonance scanning. The results demonstrated that both the adults with ADHD and the controls exhibited activation of the fronto-parietal network for WM, and the intensity was greater in the adult ADHD group. The ADHD group had higher brain activation over the bilateral anterior cingulate, left inferior frontal lobe, hippocampus, and supplementary motor area (SMA) for phonological WM than the control group. When the task loading increased from 2-back to 3-back tasks, the adults with ADHD perceived greater difficulty. The control group exhibited increased brain activation over the frontal-parietal network in response to increased phonological WM load. However, the ADHD group showed decreased brain activation over the left precuneus, insula, and SMA. Further analysis demonstrated that the ADHD group exhibited a greater decrease in brain activation over the left fronto-parietal network, including the precuneus, SMA, insula/inferior frontal lobe, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, than the control group. These results suggest that adults with ADHD pay more effort to low demanding phonological WM. On the other hand, brain activation of the left fronto-parietal network is impaired when the demands of WM exceed the capacity of adults with ADHD.

Alternate JournalEur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci