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Mapping the ADHD Brain: MRI Scans May Unlock Better Treatment and Even Symptom Prevention

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Can brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnose ADHD? Unfortunately, but unequivocally, no. No brain imaging modality — MRI, SPECT scan, T.O.V.A, or other — can accurately diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD).Despite what you may have read in the popular press, none of these tools can be used reliably as accurate, stand-alone diagnostic tools to identify ADHD.

Tests like the T.O.V.A. and continuous performance task may be helpful in giving the diagnosing clinician additional information, but in isolation they are not diagnostic, and they shouldn’t be used to diagnose ADHD.Why?

An individual could do very poorly on the T.O.V.A., but not because they have ADHD. For example, someone who is profoundly depressed is

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