Children Can Outgrow ADHD

New data peg the brain disorder to a delay in development, not a complete deviation from it

George Widman / AP

New data explains the brain development of ADHD kids like Eddie Fitzgerald, 6 years old.

Neuroscientists have known for a while that kids' brains are programmed to do the wave. The cortex, or outer layer of gray matter--which is responsible for such things as planning movement and suppressing inappropriate thoughts or actions--thickens from back to front during childhood and then thins out in adolescence, as unused neural connections go the way of football fans' empty beer cups. Thanks to nifty imaging techniques, the point at which the cortex reaches peak thickness is now recognized as an early milestone in brain maturation. But in a surprising new study, kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--which affects 3% to 5%...

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