White matter abnormalities associated with disruptive behavior disorder in adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Yang Wang, Kelly K. Horst, William G. Kronenberger, Tom A. Hummer, Kristine M. Mosier, Andrew J. Kalnin, David W. Dunn, Vincent P. Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) are among the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children and adolescents. Some important characteristics of DBD vary based on the presence or absence of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which may affect the understanding of and treatment decision-making related to the disorders. Thus, identifying neurobiological characteristics of DBD with comorbid ADHD (DBD. +. ADHD) can provide a basis to establish a better understanding of the condition. This study aimed to assess abnormal white matter microstructural alterations in DBD. +. ADHD as compared to DBD alone and healthy controls using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Thirty-three DBD (19 with comorbid ADHD) and 46 age-matched healthy adolescents were studied using DTI. Fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD) were analyzed using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Significantly lower FA and higher MD, RD and AD in many white matter fibers were found in adolescents with DBD. +. ADHD compared to controls. Moreover, lower FA and higher RD were also found in the DBD. +. ADHD versus the DBD alone group. Alterations of white matter integrity found in DBD patients were primarily associated with ADHD, suggesting that ADHD comorbidity in DBD is reflected in greater abnormality of microstructural connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 30 2012



  • Adolescent
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Disruptive behavior disorder
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)

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