Altered small-world brain functional networks in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Feb;30(2):638-49. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20530.


In this study, we investigated the changes in topological architectures of brain functional networks in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) were obtained from 19 children with ADHD and 20 healthy controls during resting state. Brain functional networks were constructed by thresholding the correlation matrix between 90 cortical and subcortical regions and further analyzed by applying graph theoretical approaches. Experimental results showed that, although brain networks of both groups exhibited economical small-world topology, altered functional networks were demonstrated in the brain of ADHD when compared with the normal controls. In particular, increased local efficiencies combined with a decreasing tendency in global efficiencies found in ADHD suggested a disorder-related shift of the topology toward regular networks. Additionally, significant alterations in nodal efficiency were also found in ADHD, involving prefrontal, temporal, and occipital cortex regions, which were compatible with previous ADHD studies. The present study provided the first evidence for brain dysfunction in ADHD from the viewpoint of global organization of brain functional networks by using resting-state fMRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Cortical Synchronization
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Occipital Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiopathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology