Hétérogénéité neuropsychologique et corrélats structurels du trouble déficit de l'attention / hyperactivité

Abstract : Previous models of Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) such as Barkley’s or Brown’s conceptualized ADHD as essentially a developmental impairment of executive function. Against this view, it is now recognized that ADHD is a heterogeneous disorder, involving multiple deficits and multiple neuronal pathways. Despite this current theoretical framework, most structural brain imaging studies in ADHD have compared groups of children with ADHD with typically developing children, without trying to identify subgroups within the diagnostic category. This approach has yielded heterogeneous findings, possibly due to inter-studies variations in the type and number of comorbidities, the percentage of medicated participants included, the number of girls included, and/or methodological and statistical differences. Patients participating in these studies were also often exposed to methylphenidate, and potential medication effects on grey matter volumes are still unclear in certain brain regions such as the frontal lobe, despite a therapeutic action involving the preferential activation of catecholamine neurotransmission within the prefrontal cortex. In this thesis, we used voxel-based morphometry to study the influence of two important risk factors for the development of comorbid conditions in ADHD. The first of these two factors was gender, and the second a genetic polymorphism of the Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene known to put children with ADHD at risk for developing a conduct disorder (Val158Met). We also compared grey matter volumes in children with ADHD exposed to methylphenidate, never-medicated children with ADHD and typically developing children. These experimental studies were part of a more general discussion of ADHD neuropsychological and neurobiological heterogeneity. In our study exploring the influence of gender on the structural correlates of ADHD, we report for the first time a gender-by-diagnosis interaction, with grey matter volume differences in boys and girls with ADHD in midline cortical structures, involved in emotional regulation and part of the default mode network. We propose that these differences may contribute to explain why girls with ADHD more often develop inattentive and internalizing symptoms, whereas externalizing symptoms are predominant in boys with ADHD. In our study investigating the effects of Val158Met in ADHD, we report the first evidence of a COMT-related genetic modulation of ADHD-related grey matter volume alterations. Indeed, children with ADHD at higher risk for developing a conduct disorder (children homozygotes for the Val158 allele) presented increased grey matter volumes in the caudate nucleus when compared with typically developing children, whereas children carrying a Met158 allele presented with decreased grey matter volumes in the right inferior frontal cortex, a region known for its key role in attention. Finally, we measured grey matter volumes in medicated children with ADHD, never-medicated children with ADHD and typically developing children using both whole-brain voxel-based morphometry and automated tracing procedures in chosen regions of interest. We document potential methylphenidate-related grey matter volume normalization and deviation in previously unexplored frontal and temporal regions, and report a positive association between treatment history and grey matter volume in the nucleus accumbens, a key region for reward processing. Our first two experimental studies therefore contribute to a better understanding of the influence of important sources of within-category heterogeneity, while the third helps clarifying the potential confounding effect of medication exposure in previous structural brain imaging studies in ADHD.
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Thomas Villemonteix. Hétérogénéité neuropsychologique et corrélats structurels du trouble déficit de l'attention / hyperactivité. Psychologie et comportements. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité; Université libre de Bruxelles (1970-..), 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB072⟩. ⟨tel-01192855⟩

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