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Abstract #0472

Long-term effects of stimulant treatment on regional cortical thickness development in ADHD

Zarah van der Pal1, Kristine Walhovd2,3, Inge Amlien2, Antonia Kaiser1, Hilde Geurts4, Liesbeth Reneman1, and Anouk Schrantee1
1Department of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2Department of Psychology, Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, 3Departments of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Oslo University, Oslo, Norway, 4Dutch Autism and ADHD Research Center, Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Stimulant medication is commonly used in treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, yet its effects on brain development remain unclear. This study investigated the long-term age-dependent effects of stimulants on cortical development after a 4-year naturalistic follow-up of adolescents and adults with ADHD using T1-weighted scans. Medication use was higher in adolescents than adults, and ADHD symptoms improved in both age groups. In line with literature on cortical development, analyses revealed reductions in apparent cortical thickness in adolescents only. However, we observed no effect of medication use on change in cortical thickness, suggesting previously identified psychostimulant effects may be transient.

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