Abnormal wiring of the structural connectome in adults with ADHD

Tuija Tolonen*, Timo Roine, Kimmo Alho, Sami Leppämäki, Pekka Tani, Anniina Koski, Matti Laine, Juha Salmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Current knowledge of white matter changes in large-scale brain networks in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is scarce. We collected diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data in 40 adults with ADHD and 36 neurotypical controls and used constrained spherical deconvolution–based tractography to reconstruct whole-brain structural connectivity networks. We used network-based statistic (NBS) and graph theoretical analysis to investigate differences in these networks between the ADHD and control groups, as well as associations between structural connectivity and ADHD symptoms assessed with the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale or performance in the Conners Continuous Performance Test 2 (CPT-2). NBS revealed decreased connectivity in the ADHD group compared to the neurotypical controls in widespread unilateral networks, which included subcortical and corticocortical structures and encompassed dorsal and ventral attention networks and visual and somatomotor systems. Furthermore, hypoconnectivity in a predominantly left-frontal network was associated with higher amount of commission errors in CPT-2. Graph theoretical analysis did not reveal topological differences between the groups or associations between topological properties and ADHD symptoms or task performance. Our results suggest that abnormal structural wiring of the brain in adult ADHD is manifested as widespread intrahemispheric hypoconnectivity in networks previously associated with ADHD in functional neuroimaging studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1325
Number of pages24
JournalNetwork Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adult ADHD
  • Connectivity
  • Diffusion
  • Graph theory
  • Network-based statistic
  • Symptoms


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