View Full Version : Potential Biomarker for Adhd found

03-12-16, 04:07 PM

"It would be very beneficial to have a diagnostic measure that uses more objective and reliable measures, not just clinical and parental assessments of behavior," said Weidong Cai, PhD, an instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and the study's lead author. "This study also demonstrates that we can develop a very robust biomarker based on functional neuroimaging to reliably differentiate children with ADHD from other kids."

Let's hope this works out.

03-12-16, 04:21 PM
Here's the abstract of the research article ( they're discussing. (Paper is paywalled, unfortunately.)

Future research is needed to explore whether fMRI can also differentiate between the brains of children with ADHD and those with other psychiatric or neurodevelopmental conditions, the researchers said. Answering that question is an important aspect of determining whether brain scans could become a practical component of ADHD diagnosis.

This seems to be the sticking point for a lot of research on potential diagnostic tools. With the technology available today, it's relatively feasible to develop a biomarker-based test that can distinguish between ADHD and "no disorder" with decent reliability (per the abstract, 62%-82%, which at the low end is still kinda "meh" if you're thinking about diagnostics and the implications of misclassification). It's much harder to distinguish between ADHD (+/- comorbids) and other conditions (like autism, anxiety, mood disorders, etc.).

Still, I share your hope that this type of work might pan out into something that benefits the community.

03-12-16, 04:24 PM
Yeah, I did read that, I wasn't aware that was a sticking point but it is hopeful.

03-12-16, 04:48 PM
On the plus side: one thing this study has going for it that many other studies don't have is that they tested kids at 3 sites (in New York, Oregon, and Beijing).

Often it happens that researchers will come up with some biomarker-based model that seems to reliably distinguish kids with ADHD from typically developing kids in their small sample at their site, but then that model fails in other populations.

Here, in addition to compiling data on kids from 3 different sites, they tested their predictions based on modeling from one site on kids at the other 2 sites, and still got moderately good results. That's an indication that their results are somewhat robust/generalizable, which you'd want in a widely-applied diagnostic screening tool.

03-12-16, 06:06 PM
cool, seen some very interesting stuff from nigg, with emotional reactivity and scans as well

03-12-16, 06:10 PM
"More than 6 million children in the United States, or 11 percent of children aged 4 to 17, "


03-12-16, 06:44 PM
At some point in the future, I'm hoping that an irrefutable diagnosis can be obtained by

something as simple as a Q-tip cheek swab.

That would put a lot of arrogant / narcissitic clinicians out of diagnostic business, which

would go a long way towards protecting the consumer.