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Comprehensive Examination of Frontal Regions in Boys and Girls with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • E. Mark Mahone (a1) (a2), Marin E. Ranta (a3), Deana Crocetti (a3), Jessica O'Brien (a3), Walter E. Kaufmann (a2) (a4) (a5) (a6) (a7) (a8), Martha B. Denckla (a2) (a5) (a6) (a9) and Stewart H. Mostofsky (a2) (a3) (a5)...

The current study examined regional frontal lobe volumes based on functionally relevant subdivisions in contemporaneously recruited samples of boys and girls with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Forty-four boys (21 ADHD, 23 control) and 42 girls (21 ADHD, 21 control), ages 8–13 years, participated. Sulcal–gyral landmarks were used to manually delimit functionally relevant regions within the frontal lobe: primary motor cortex, anterior cingulate, deep white matter, premotor regions [supplementary motor complex (SMC), frontal eye field, lateral premotor cortex (LPM)], and prefrontal cortex (PFC) regions [medial PFC, dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), inferior PFC, lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and medial OFC]. Compared to sex-matched controls, boys and girls with ADHD showed reduced volumes (gray and white matter) in the left SMC. Conversely, girls (but not boys) with ADHD showed reduced gray matter volume in left LPM; while boys (but not girls) with ADHD showed reduced white matter volume in left medial PFC. Reduced left SMC gray matter volumes predicted increased go/no–go commission rate in children with ADHD. Reduced left LPM gray matter volumes predicted increased go/no–go variability, but only among girls with ADHD. Results highlight different patterns of anomalous frontal lobe development among boys and girls with ADHD beyond that detected by measuring whole lobar volumes. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1047–1057)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: E. Mark Mahone, Ph.D., Department of Neuropsychology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 1750 East Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21231. E-mail:
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