There is evidence that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with linguistic difficulties. However, the pathophysiology underlying these difficulties is yet to be determined. This study investigates functional abnormalities in Broca’s area, which is associated with speech production and processing, in adolescents with ADHD by means of resting-state fMRI. Data for the study was taken from the ADHD-200 project and included 267 ADHD patients (109 with combined inattentive/hyperactive subtype and 158 with inattentive subtype) and 478 typically-developing control (TDC) subjects. An analysis of fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), which reflects spontaneous neural activity, in Broca’s area (Brodmann Areas 44/45) was performed on the data and the results were compared statistically across the participant groups. fALFF was found to be significantly lower in the ADHD inattentive group as compared to TDC in BA 44, and in the ADHD combined group as compared to TDC in BA 45. The results suggest that there are functional abnormalities in Broca’s area with people suffering from ADHD, and that the localization of these abnormalities might be connected to particular language deficits associated with ADHD subtypes, which we discuss in the article. The findings might help explore the underlying causes of specific language difficulties in ADHD.
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