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Association of neurostructural biomarkers with secondary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptom severity in children with traumatic brain injury: a prospective cohort study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 23:48 authored by Nicholas RyanNicholas Ryan, Cathy Catroppa, Storm Courtney Ward, Keith Owen Yeates, Louise Crossley, Marisa Hollenkamp, Stephen Hearps, Miriam H Beauchamp, Vicki A Anderson
Abstract Background Despite a well-established link between childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) and elevated secondary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (s-ADHD) symptomology, the neurostructural correlates of these symptoms are largely unknown. Based on the influential ‘triple-network model’ of ADHD, this prospective longitudinal investigation aimed to (i) assess the effect of childhood TBI on brain morphometry of higher-order cognitive networks proposed to play a key role in ADHD pathophysiology, including the default-mode network (DMN), salience network (SN) and central executive network (CEN); and (ii) assess the independent prognostic value of DMN, SN and CEN morphometry in predicting s-ADHD symptom severity after childhood TBI. Methods The study sample comprised 155 participants, including 112 children with medically confirmed mild-severe TBI ascertained from consecutive hospital admissions, and 43 typically developing (TD) children matched for age, sex and socio-economic status. High-resolution structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences were acquired sub-acutely in a subset of 103 children with TBI and 34 TD children. Parents completed well-validated measures of ADHD symptom severity at 12-months post injury. Results Relative to TD children and those with milder levels of TBI severity (mild, complicated mild, moderate), children with severe TBI showed altered brain morphometry within large-scale, higher-order cognitive networks, including significantly diminished grey matter volumes within the DMN, SN and CEN. When compared with the TD group, the TBI group showed significantly higher ADHD symptomatology and higher rates of clinically elevated symptoms. In multivariable models adjusted for other well-established risk factors, altered DMN morphometry independently predicted higher s-ADHD symptomatology at 12-months post-injury, whilst SN and CEN morphometry were not significant independent predictors. Conclusions Our prospective study findings suggest that neurostructural alterations within higher-order cognitive circuitry may represent a prospective risk factor for s-ADHD symptomatology at 12-months post-injury in children with TBI. High-resolution structural brain MRI has potential to provide early prognostic biomarkers that may help early identification of high-risk children with TBI who are likely to benefit from early surveillance and preventive measures to optimise long-term neuropsychiatric outcomes.

History

Journal

PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE

Volume

53

Article number

PII S0033291722002598

Pagination

5291-5300

Location

England

ISSN

0033-2917

eISSN

1469-8978

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

11

Publisher

CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS