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Your Brain on ADHD

by Ashley Grashaw
Nov 13, 2007

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All right, class. Today we're going to learn about attention-deficit hyperactivity dis... What? No, I said I wanted blue construction paper on the bulletin board, not red! I'm sorry, what was I saying? Oh, right, attention-deficit hyperact... Make sure you align the cutouts in a straight row on the right side of the board. I don't want it to look lopsided. Sorry, I got distracted. What was I saying again? Oh, right, attention-deficit... No, no, no! You're doing it wrong!

And so forth.

A new study from the National Institute of Mental Health and McGill University shows that the brains of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., develop normally but more slowly in the areas of the cerebral cortex most involved in attention and motor control than the brains of children without the disorder. What does this mean? Well, it helped put to rest the theory that children with A.D.H.D. have a brain deficiency or flaw. Today we'll talk to our own Jon Hamilton, from NPR's Science Desk, about the larger implications of this study.

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