Sex-Based Brain Differences Visible in Kids With ADHD

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers found that boys with ADHD show reductions in the premotor cortex surface area of the brain, corresponding to their greater occurrence of hyperactivity/impulsivity. By comparison, girls show reductions in the prefrontal cortex surface area, more associated with organizational/planning skills or inattentive ADD.

The study was published in the January issue of NeuroImage: Clinical by Dr. Mostofsky and colleagues. However, these findings may be due to girls having earlier brain maturation rates.

According to Dr. Harold Levinson, this study is an important step towards finding biological determinants of the diverse symptoms characterizing ADHD in male vs female children. However, the authors justifiably consider that these diverse findings may be due to girls having earlier brain maturation rates. Overlooked are possible secondary psychological determinants, e.g., boys with symptoms tend to frustrate and act-out more than girls.

About Dr. Harold Levinson
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or visit:

Image Courtesy of Marin/

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