The cerebellum is emerging as a key anatomical structure underlying normal attentional and cognitive control mechanisms. Dysregulation within cerebellar circuits may contribute to the core symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In the present study we aimed to characterize surface morphological features of the cerebellum in ADHD and healthy comparison youths. Further, we studied the association of cerebellar morphology with the severity of ADHD symptoms and the effects of stimulant treatment. We examined 46 youths with ADHD and 59 comparison youths 8-18 years of age in a cross-sectional, case-control study using magnetic resonance imaging. Measures of cerebellar surface morphology were the primary outcome. Relative to comparison participants, youths with ADHD exhibited smaller regional volumes corresponding to the lateral surface of the left anterior and the right posterior cerebellar hemispheres. Stimulant medication was associated with larger regional volumes over the left cerebellar surface, whereas more severe ADHD symptoms were associated with smaller regional volumes in the vermis. We used optimized measures of morphology to detect alterations in cerebellar anatomy specific to ADHD, dimensions of symptomology, and stimulant treatment. Duration of treatment correlated positively with volumes of specific cerebellar subregions, supporting a model whereby compensatory morphological changes support the effects of stimulant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Cerebellum
  • attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
  • brain imaging
  • morphology
  • stimulant medication


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