We can call them sibling conditions, since they both involve partly overlapping underlying brain mechanisms, and therefore attention should be paid to both dimensions during diagnosis
Similar Brain Changes Seen in Those with ADHD and Emotional Instability Disorders
By Traci Pedersen
Clinical observation has long shown that individuals with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have emotional problems, such as chaotic emotional responses, anxiety and depression.
Yet the link between ADHD and impaired emotional regulation has not been identified, even though theories have proposed that both conditions are rooted in a dysfunction in how the brain processes information.
Now a new Swedish study finds that the brains of people with ADHD and those with emotional instability disorders (borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder and conduct disorder in children) may exhibit similar changes in overlapping areas, suggesting the two types of conditions should be seen as related.
For the study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden observed more than 1,000 adolescents to study the brain images of those with ADHD and emotional instability traits (conduct disorder). The findings, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, may lead to a broader treatment for both conditions.
“We can call them sibling conditions, since they both involve partly overlapping underlying brain mechanisms, and therefore attention should be paid to both dimensions during diagnosis,” said Dr. Predrag Petrovic, associate professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and consultant psychiatrist at North Stockholm Psychiatry.