Brains of ADHD Kids Mature Later: Study
Cortex controlling action and attention lags three years behind
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 3:35 AM CST
Dr. Jerry Boxerman does a routine checkup before anesthesia is administered for an MRI scan at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – The brains of hyperactive children appear to develop more slowly than those of their peers,  researchers have discovered, with the cortex—the area that affects attention and action— maturing 3 years later than in other children. The finding accounts for the fact that many kids with ADHD grow out of the problem by the time they reach adulthood, NPR reports, and may prompt new ways to understand and treat the disorder.

The study of repeat brain scans of young children, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that the thickness of the cortex in ADHD kids peaked at about 10 years of age, compared to the norm of  7. The New York Times pairs the study with another that shows that early disruptive behavior in school does not correlate with later performance, giving a break to parents of unruly kids, whether or not they have ADHD.