Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders in children (5-10% prevalence) and persists in 50-80% of cases into adulthood. In adults it significantly impairs activities of daily living, such as academic, social, occupational, and family functioning and results in a high rate of criminal offences and drug abuse. Research in adult ADHD is at an initial stage. A better understanding of clinical, neuropsychological, social and neurobiological outcome related to maintenance of and remission from ADHD should provide a background for the creation of effective treatments.
Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies in children have helped to better understand cognitive dysfunctions in ADHD. Structural and functional imaging studies have led to the view that ADHD patients suffer from a dysfunction of fronto-striatal brain pathways, which seem to be related to imbalances in dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems. The neuropsychological findings in ADHD patients are basically in line with the assumed roles of these structures in cognition and attention.

The aim of the present project is to examine the clinical, neuropsychological and social outcome as well as microstructural and functional imaging changes associated with these outcome variables in a group of adults with ADHD who were carefully diagnosed in childhood. Specific aims are to investigate which changes in resting state arterial spin labelling (ASL), decision-making fMRI and HARDI-tractography will be associated with remission or maintenance of ADHD and will be helpful in diagnosis as well as whether clinical variables during childhood will predict the outcome.