Consortium neuroscience of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: The ENIGMA adventure

Martine Hoogman*, Daan van Rooij, Marieke Klein, Premika Boedhoe, Iva Ilioska, Ting Li, Yash Patel, Merel C. Postema, Yanli Zhang-James, Evdokia Anagnostou, Celso Arango, Guillaume Auzias, Tobias Banaschewski, Claiton H. D. Bau, Marlene Behrmann, Mark A. Bellgrove, Daniel Brandeis, Silvia Brem, Geraldo F. Busatto, Sara CalderoniRosa Calvo, Francisco X. Castellanos, David Coghill, Annette Conzelmann, Eileen Daly, Christine Deruelle, Ilan Dinstein, Sarah Durston, Christine Ecker, Stefan Ehrlich, Jeffery N. Epstein, Damien A. Fair, Jacqueline Fitzgerald, Christine M. Freitag, Thomas Frodl, Louise Gallagher, Eugenio H. Grevet, Jan Haavik, Pieter J. Hoekstra, Joost Janssen, Georgii Karkashadze, Joseph A. King, Kerstin Konrad, Jonna Kuntsi, Luisa Lazaro, Jason P. Lerch, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Mario R. Louza, Beatriz Luna, Paulo Mattos, Jane McGrath, Filippo Muratori, Clodagh Murphy, Joel T. Nigg, Eileen Oberwelland-Weiss, Ruth L. O'Gorman Tuura, Kirsten O'Hearn, Jaap Oosterlaan, Mara Parellada, Paul Pauli, Kerstin J. Plessen, J. Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Andreas Reif, Liesbeth Reneman, Alessandra Retico, Pedro G. P. Rosa, Katya Rubia, Philip Shaw, Tim J. Silk, Leanne Tamm, Oscar Vilarroya, Susanne Walitza, Neda Jahanshad, Stephen Faraone, Clyde Francks, Odile A. van den Heuvel, Tomas Paus, Paul M. Thompson, Jan K. Buitelaar, Barbara Franke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Neuroimaging has been extensively used to study brain structure and function in individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decades. Two of the main shortcomings of the neuroimaging literature of these disorders are the small sample sizes employed and the heterogeneity of methods used. In 2013 and 2014, the ENIGMA-ADHD and ENIGMA-ASD working groups were respectively, founded with a common goal to address these limitations. Here, we provide a narrative review of the thus far completed and still ongoing projects of these working groups. Due to an implicitly hierarchical psychiatric diagnostic classification system, the fields of ADHD and ASD have developed largely in isolation, despite the considerable overlap in the occurrence of the disorders. The collaboration between the ENIGMA-ADHD and -ASD working groups seeks to bring the neuroimaging efforts of the two disorders closer together. The outcomes of case-control studies of subcortical and cortical structures showed that subcortical volumes are similarly affected in ASD and ADHD, albeit with small effect sizes. Cortical analyses identified unique differences in each disorder, but also considerable overlap between the two, specifically in cortical thickness. Ongoing work is examining alternative research questions, such as brain laterality, prediction of case-control status, and anatomical heterogeneity. In brief, great strides have been made toward fulfilling the aims of the ENIGMA collaborations, while new ideas and follow-up analyses continue that include more imaging modalities (diffusion MRI and resting-state functional MRI), collaborations with other large databases, and samples with dual diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number1
Early online date18 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • cortex
  • neuroimaging
  • subcortical volumes


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