The journal Clinical Neuropsychologist published a study in which the brains of pre-schoolers were scanned, showing differences in children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The scans showed that the smaller the child’s caudate nucleus the greater the level of ADHD symptoms reported by parents.
This finding may help efforts to develop ways to treat the common behavioral disorder in the early stages, according to the researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore.
“Clinically, this abnormal brain development sets the stage for the symptoms of ADHD that contribute to cognitive challenges and problems in school,” lead author Mark Mahone, director of neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger, said in an institute news release.
ADHD is the most common child behavioral diagnosis in the United States, affecting about 2 million children.