Seeking Overlapping Neuroanatomical Alterations between Dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Replication Study


The present work is a replication article based on the paper “Are there shared neural correlates between dyslexia and ADHD? A meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies” by McGrath and Stoodley (2019). In the original research, the authors used activation likelihood estimation (ALE), a technique to perform coordinate-based meta-analysis (CBMA), to investigate the existence of brain regions undergoing gray matter alteration in association with both attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. Here, the same voxel-based morphometry dataset was analyzed, while using the permutation-subject images version of signed differential mapping (PSI-SDM) in place of ALE. Overall, the replication converged with the original paper in showing a limited overlap between the two conditions. In particular, no significant effect was found for dyslexia, therefore precluding any form of comparison between the two disorders. The possible influences of biological sex, age, and medication status were also ruled out. Our findings are in line with literature about gray matter alteration associated with ADHD and dyslexia, often showing conflicting results. Therefore, although neuropsychological and clinical evidence suggest some convergence between ADHD and dyslexia, more future research is sorely needed to reach a consensus on the neuroimaging domain in terms of patterns of gray matter alteration

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