A Deep Dive into ADHD Brain Scans: What You Need to Know


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s known to cause a range of symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty staying focused on specific tasks. While there is no definitive test for ADHD, brain scans have the potential to provide valuable insights into the disorder. In this post, we’ll explore the topic of ADHD brain scans, their cost, effectiveness, how to get them, and more.

Can an MRI Detect ADHD?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of brain scan that utilizes a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the brain’s structures. While an MRI alone cannot diagnose ADHD, it can provide information that may contribute to an ADHD diagnosis.

ADHD is associated with differences in brain structure and function, including fewer dopamine receptors in the brain’s reward centers and abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. A brain MRI can reveal these structural abnormalities and help confirm the diagnosis of ADHD.

Do People with ADHD Lead Normal Lives?

The ADHD brain is wired differently from the average brain. However, people with ADHD can still lead successful lives. ADHD is manageable through various treatments and lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce symptoms.

Medications like stimulants such as Ritalin and nonstimulants like Atomoxetine and Guanfacine, can help improve attention span, impulse control, and hyperactivity. Lifestyle changes like proper diet, exercise, and adequate sleep can also help alleviate symptoms.

What Are the Lesions in the Brain of ADHD?

Lesions in the brain of ADHD refer to areas where there is damage or loss of tissue. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that people with ADHD have smaller brain volumes in five regions of the brain, including the amygdala, thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. These regions are essential for attention, motivation, and emotional regulation. These findings suggest that structural brain changes may play a role in ADHD symptoms.

How Much is a Brain Scan for ADHD?

The cost of a brain scan for ADHD can vary depending on several factors, including the type of scan and the location where it’s performed. A standard brain MRI without contrast can cost between $500 to $3000. However, certain factors such as location, facility fee, and insurance coverage need to be considered.

Individuals with health insurance can expect a reduced cost for scans or coverage for most of the costs. On the other hand, people without insurance may find the process much more costly.

How to Get a Brain Scan for ADHD?

Getting a proper diagnosis of ADHD involves several assessments and tests, including a brain scan. The first step in finding out whether a brain scan is necessary is to talk to your healthcare provider. A qualified mental health professional who has experience in diagnosing ADHD may be able to provide valuable insight on the need for a brain scan.

If a brain scan is recommended, the mental health professional can provide a referral to a neurologist who can order the scan. The neurologist will conduct the scan and interpret the results to determine whether the individual has ADHD.

ADHD Brain Scan Near Me

Individuals can easily locate facilities that provide MRI scans near them with the help of online search engines. Simple search queries like “ADHD brain scan near me” or “MRI facilities near me” can produce a list of facilities that are nearby.

It’s important to consider factors such as the facility’s reputation, available services, and the convenience of the location in choosing a facility to get a brain scan for ADHD.


ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect multiple aspects of a person’s life, including their ability to focus, prioritize, and control impulses. While there is still no definitive test for ADHD, brain scans like MRI can provide vital information that contributes to an ADHD diagnosis. Understanding the cost, effectiveness, and process of getting a brain scan for ADHD can improve an individual’s chances of getting the right diagnosis and treatment.

By taking advantage of ADHD treatment options like medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes, people with ADHD can lead normal and successful lives.