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A diagnostic biomarker for kids with ADHD

Narrator:       This is Science Today. By analyzing the brain activity in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, a cross-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of California, Davis have, for the first time, found direct evidence that two areas of the brain fail to connect when kids with ADHD attempt a task that measures attention.

Mangun:        If we look at it from the systems perspective, the brain attention system that allows you to control your attention to pay attention to my voice now, that brain system was behaving differently in this task than what we would see in typically-developing children.

Narrator:       Dr. Ron Mangun, a professor of psychology and neurology at the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis, says this new insight is significant because current definitions of ADHD are based only on behavior. Understanding this brain disconnection could also lead to diagnosis.

Mangun:        The idea would be to take this forward to the clinical world and see if it can be refined to the point where it could be a diagnostic biomarker for whether a child had the disorder or not.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.