Pilot Project Abstract - Fair, Damien, MMSC, PhD

Fair, Damien, MMSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, OHSU

“Identifying a neurobiological correlate of ADHD using resting-state functional connectivity MRI”

We propose to examine resting-state functional connectivity MRI in children newly diagnosed with ADHD.

It is well established that ADHD is a major public health concern. While substantial progress has been made regarding the etiology of ADHD, translating this success into clinical practice has been a particularly daunting task. It is becoming increasingly clear that a significant obstacle to translating our new knowledge regarding ADHD into clinical practice is the lack of a physiological fingerprint (or biomarker) capable identifying patients with ADHD and segregating this very heterogeneous population into appropriate mechanistic subtypes. One imaging technique that may prove fruitful toward characterization is resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI). Rs-fcMRI measures correlated spontaneous brain activity while subjects are at rest. It allows for an easily applied, non-invasive mapping of brain networks in patient populations. Due to the ease of data acquisition and ability to use this technique during sleep as well as anesthesia, some investigators have highlighted the potential to use rs-fcMRI as a biomarker. To date, only a few rs-fcMRI studies have addressed the notion that developmental disorders of executive control may have atypical functional connectivity at rest (none in ADHD). We plan to compare rs-fcMRI in newly diagnosed ADHD children with a typically developing population in hopes of observing distinct between group differences in three predefined executive control networks. We argue that applying rs-fcMRI in this way will improve our understanding regarding the neurobiological underpinnings of ADHD, and will allow for the examination of how differences in brain networks relate to behavioral differences in the individual patient.