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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 20 Issue 2 (1991) Neurobiological Basis of Attention-De...
Volume 20, Issue 2 (1991)

Neurobiological Basis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

pp. 174—186

Abstract: It has long been presumed that the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity characteristic of children with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have a neurological basis. However, only in the last 2 decades has evidence been provided as to which neurological systems or structures maybe implicated. This article provides an overview of the literature that has focused on genetic, biochemical, neurobehavioral, and neuroanatomical correlates of ADHD. Generally, these studies suggest that motor-regulatory systems involving both subcortical and frontal systems are associated with ADHD. Also, the studies suggest a possible genetic basis because they implicate deficiencies in several neurotransmitters and because family studies show some concordance between affected parents and their children. At present, however, there is no neurobiological marker for ADHD. Appropriate diagnosis continues to require reliable behavioral assessment, and treatment must include carefully monitored medical and behavioral intervention.

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