With the incidence of mental disorders increasing, it is essential to understand the neurodevelopmental trajectory of psychiatric symptoms. This study aims to evaluate whether the strength of cooling activation between particular brain regions can be used to predict children’s developmental trajectories in the case of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders.
This cohort study included a total of 94 children. The specific brain connectivity patterns were identified and associated with any longitudinal changes in the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scores. The primary outcome of the study was the identification of subsequent changes in CBCL scores four years later, along with the change in brain connectivity mechanisms.
The researchers discovered a positive association between the positive coupling between the medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and attentional symptoms. On the other hand, there was an inverse association between the positive coupling between the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and internalizing behaviors. Logistic regression analyses indicated that sgACC-DLPFC connectivity was more accurate in predicting progression to a subclinical internalization score when compared with baseline CBLC measures.
The research concluded that in children at risk of developing MDD or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, resting-state fMRI metrics could be promising early identification biomarkers.