Frontostriatal connectivity and its role in cognitive control in parent-child dyads with ADHD

B. J. Casey, Jeffery N. Epstein, Jason Buhle, Conor Liston, Matthew C. Davidson, Simon T. Tonev, Julie Spicer, Sumit Niogi, Alexander J. Millner, Allan Reiss, Amy Garrett, Stephen P. Hinshaw, Laurence L. Greenhill, Keith M. Shafritz, Alan Vitolo, Lisa A. Kotler, Matthew A. Jarrett, Gary Glover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Objective: Many studies have linked the structure and function of frontostriatal circuitry to cognitive control deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Few studies have examined the role of white matter tracts between these structures or the extent to which white matter tract myelination and regularity correlate in family members with the disorder. Method: Functional imaging maps from a go/nogo task were used to identify portions of the ventral prefrontal cortex and striatum involved in suppressing an inappropriate action (i.e., cognitive control) in 30 parent-child dyads (N=60), including 20 dyads (N=40) with ADHD and 10 dyads (N=20) without ADHD. An automated fiber-tracking algorithm was used to delineate white matter fibers adjacent to these functionally defined regions based on diffusion tensor images. Fractional anisotropy, an index of white matter tract myelination and regularity derived from diffusion tensor images, was calculated to characterize the associations between white matter tracts and function. Results: Fractional anisotropy in right prefrontal fiber tracts correlated with both functional activity in the inferior frontal gyrus and caudate nucleus and performance of a go/nogo task in parent-child dyads with ADHD, even after controlling for age. Prefrontal fiber tract measures were tightly associated between ADHD parents and their children. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings support previous studies suggesting heritability of frontostriatal structures among individuals with ADHD and suggest disruption in frontostriatal white matter tracts as one possible pathway to the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1736
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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