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ADHD Brain Scan: Is it Necessary to Diagnose?
Is a brain scan, such as a computed axial tomography (CT or CAT scan) or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), necessary for an accurate attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) diagnosis in children or adults?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is not a structural problem in the brain. It’s primarily a chemical problem. There are certainly some structural differences that brain imaging shows -- this part of the brain is a little smaller than normal and that part is a bit bigger. However, brain imaging is a snapshot of the brain’s structure that is taken in a fraction of a second and tells you nothing about whether a patient has ADD/ADHD. That’s why you need to ask questions about how the patient functions in a variety of situations at various times of the day, under different circumstances.
More Info on Diagnosing ADD/ADHD
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Dr. Brown, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. Dr. Brown was awarded by the National Attention Deficit Disorder Association and has been inducted into the CHADD Hall of Fame for his contributions to research and professional education about ADHD.
He is author of the books: A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults, Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD, and Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults.