The NeuroIMAGE study: a prospective phenotypic, cognitive, genetic and MRI study in children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Design and descriptives.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a persistent neuropsychiatric disorder which is associated with impairments on a variety of cognitive measures and abnormalities in structural and functional brain measures. Genetic factors are thought to play an important role in the etiology of ADHD. The NeuroIMAGE study is a follow-up of the Dutch part of the International Multicenter ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) project. It is a multi-site prospective cohort study designed to investigate the course of ADHD, its genetic and environmental determinants, its cognitive and neurobiological underpinnings, and its consequences in adolescence and adulthood. From the original 365 ADHD families and 148 control (CON) IMAGE families, consisting of 506 participants with an ADHD diagnosis, 350 unaffected siblings, and 283 healthy controls, 79 % participated in the NeuroIMAGE follow-up study. Combined with newly recruited participants the NeuroIMAGE study comprehends an assessment of 1,069 children (751 from ADHD families; 318 from CON families) and 848 parents (582 from ADHD families; 266 from CON families). For most families, data for more than one child (82 %) and both parents (82 %) were available. Collected data include a diagnostic interview, behavioural questionnaires, cognitive measures, structural and functional neuroimaging, and genome-wide genetic information. The NeuroIMAGE dataset allows examining the course of ADHD over adolescence into young adulthood, identifying phenotypic, cognitive, and neural mechanisms associated with the persistence versus remission of ADHD, and studying their genetic and environmental underpinnings. The inclusion of siblings of ADHD probands and controls allows modelling of shared familial influences on the ADHD phenotype.

In European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry