Altered White-matter Tract Property in Adults with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Huey Ling Chiang, Li Kuang Yang, Yu Jen Chen, Yung Chin Hsu, Yu Chun Lo, Wen Yih Isaac Tseng, Susan Shur Fen Gau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although altered microstructure properties of white-matter tracts have been reported in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), findings from relatively few adult ADHD studies are inconsistent. This study aims to examine microstructural property over the whole brain in adults with ADHD and explore structural connectivities. Sixty-four medication-naïve adults with ADHD and 81 healthy adults received diffusion spectrum imaging. Generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA), an index indicating microstructural property, was calculated stepwise among 76 white-matter tracts. With the threshold-free clustering weighted method, the segments with the largest group difference were selected, and mean GFA (mGFA) values were calculated. Adults with ADHD had increased mGFA values in the segments located in the left frontal aslant tract, the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and the left perpendicular fasciculus, and reduced mGFA values in the segments located in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) I, the left SLF II, the right frontostriatal tracts from dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the right medial lemniscus, the right inferior thalamic radiation to the auditory cortex, and the callosal fibers. Additionally, the mGFA value of the right SLF I segment was associated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. Our findings suggest that white-matter tracts with altered microstructure properties are located within the attention networks, fronto-striato-thalamocortical regions, and those associated with attention and visual perception in adults with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2022


  • ADHD
  • adult
  • diffusion spectrum imaging
  • hyperactivity-impulsivity
  • tract-specific analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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