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ADHD Teens Derive Impulsive Behavior From Unique Brain Network

New data collected by researchers at the University of Vermont suggests impulsive behavior displayed by teens with ADHD and those with substance abuse problems may come for a different source. A report published over the weekend in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests teens with ADHD often experience their impulsive behavior through an entirely different brain path than those who smoke, use drugs and drink.

Researchers reviewed data collected from teens in Europe starting at the age of 14. They underwent brain scans every two years and also given tests to determine their overall level of impulsiveness. They found kids with ADHD had distinct patterns of brain activity separate from those who had tried substances.

"The behavior of the two groups might look the same, but it's driven by different brain networks," says lead researcher Robert Whelan in a news release. "The fact that we found there were different networks lends credence to the argument that ADHD and substance abuse are not so tightly coupled."

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