Common functional brain networks between attention deficit and disruptive behaviors in youth

Neuroimage. 2021 Dec 15;245:118732. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118732. Epub 2021 Nov 20.


Attention deficits (AD) and disruptive behavior (DB) are highly comorbid youth externalizing behaviors. This study aimed to study reliable functional brain networks shared by AD and DB in youth aged from 8 to 21 years from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC). The PNC study assessed AD and DB behaviors via Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). This study employed sparse canonical correlation analysis (SCCA) to examine the correlation of AD and DB behaviors with resting-state functional connectivity maps of the brain regions identified via activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and DB disorder (DBD). Our meta-analyses identified that the middle cingulate cortex, pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and striatum had a great consensus in existing ADHD studies and the amygdala and inferior parietal lobule were consistently found in existing DBD studies. Our SCCA analysis revealed that the AD and DB behavioral items relevant to inattention and delinquency were correlated with the functional connectivity of the pre-SMA with the ventral attentional and frontoparietal networks (FPN), and the striatum with the default mode (DMN) and dorsal attentional networks. The AD and DB behavioral items relevant to inattention and irritability were associated with the functional connectivity between the amygdala and the DMN and FPN. Our findings suggest that the functional organization of the ADHD- and DBD-related brain regions provides insights on the shared neural basis in AD and DB.

Keywords: ADHD; Activation likelihood estimation; DBD; Externalizing behavior; Functional connectivity; Resting-state fMRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnostic imaging*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Problem Behavior*
  • Young Adult