Nature Research (part of Springer Nature), Scientific Reports, 1(11), 2021
AbstractEmotion dysregulation is common in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is highly prevalent in young adult ADHD and related to reduced well-being and social impairments. Neuroimaging studies reported neural activity changes in ADHD in brain regions associated with emotion processing and regulation. It is however unknown whether deficits in emotion regulation relate to changes in functional brain network topology in these regions. We used a combination of graph analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyze resting-state functional connectivity in 147 well-characterized young adults with ADHD and age-matched healthy controls from the NeuroIMAGE database. Emotion dysregulation was gauged with four scales obtained from questionnaires and operationalized through a latent variable derived from SEM. Graph analysis was applied to resting-state data and network topology measures were entered into SEM models to identify brain regions whose local network integration and connectedness differed between subjects and was associated with emotion dysregulation. The latent variable of emotion dysregulation was characterized by scales gauging emotional distress, emotional symptoms, conduct symptoms, and emotional lability. In individuals with ADHD characterized by prominent hyperactivity-impulsivity, the latent emotion dysregulation variable was related to an increased clustering and local efficiency of the right insula. Thus, in the presence of hyperactivity-impulsivity, clustered network formation of the right insula may underpin emotion dysregulation in young adult ADHD.