(HealthDay News) — Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with the delayed development of five brain regions and should be considered a brain disorder, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

For the international study, Martine Hoogman, PhD, of the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues included 1713 individuals with ADHD and 1529 without the disorder. Participants were between the ages of 4 and 63.

Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that five brain regions in those with ADHD were smaller than in those without ADHD: the caudate nucleus, putamen, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and hippocampus. These differences were more prominent in children with ADHD than in adults with the disorder.

“The results from our study confirm that people with ADHD have differences in their brain structure, and therefore suggest that ADHD is a disorder of the brain,” Hoogman said in a journal news release.

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Hoogman, M, Bralten, Janita, Hibar DP, et al. Subcortical brain volume differences in participants with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults: a cross-sectional mega-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2017; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30049-4