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?
by Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D.
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.
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