Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-kw98b Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-03T16:46:31.168Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Genetic basis of attention deficit and hyperactivity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Anita Thapar*
Affiliation:
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, Manchester
Jane Holmes
Affiliation:
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, Manchester
Kay Poulton
Affiliation:
Molecular Genetics Research Group, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Manchester
Richard Harrington
Affiliation:
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester
*
Anita Thapar, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, Manchester M27 4HA

Abstract

Background

Hyperkinetic disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an important clinical condition.

Aims

The research evidence for a genetic contribution to ADHD is reviewed.

Method

Measurement of the phenotype, the extent to which attention deficit and hyperactivity are heritable and molecular genetic findings are discussed. Future research directions are also considered.

Results

ADHD is a familial disorder. Available adoption evidence suggests genetic influences are important. Twin studies have primarily focused on trait measures which have consistently been found to be highly heritable. Molecular genetic studies of clinical disorder so far have suggested the involvement of the dopamine DRD-4 receptor gene and dopamine transporter gene (DATI). However, these findings await further replication.

Conclusions

Advances in psychiatric genetics and current research interest in the genetics of ADHD should improve our understanding of aetiological factors and have an impact on treatment.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Declaration of interest J.H. and K.P. are funded by Action Research.

References

American Psychiatric Association (1980) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn) (DSM–III). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diognostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). Washington, DC: APA.Google Scholar
Castellanos, F. X., Lau, E., Tayebi, N., et al (1998) Lack of an association between a dopamine-4 receptor polymorphism and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: genetic and brain morphometric analyses. Molecular Psychiatry, 3, 431434.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cook, E. H., Stain, M. A., Krasowski, M. D., et al (1995) Association of attention deficit disorder and the dopamine transporter gene. American Journal of Human Genetics, 54, 993998.Google Scholar
Eaves, L. J., Sitberg, J. L., Meyer, J. M., et al (1997) Genetic and developmental psychopathology: 2. The main effects of genes and environment on behavioural problems in the Virginia twin study of adolescent development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 965980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edelbrock, C., Rende, R., Plomin, R., et al (1995) A twin study of competence and problem behaviour in childhood and early adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34, 775785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gill, M., Daly, G., Heron, S., et al (1997) Confirmation of association between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a dopamine transporter polymorphism. Molecular Psychiatry, 2, 311313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gillis, J. J., Gllger, J. W., Pennington, B. F., et al (1992) Attention deficit disorders in reading disabled twins: evidence for a genetic aetiology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 20, 303315.Google Scholar
Gjone, H., Stevenson, J. & Sundet, J. M. (1996) Genetic influence on parent-reported attention-related problems in a Norwegian general population twin sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 588596.Google Scholar
Goodman, R. & Stevenson, J. (1989) A twin study of hyperactivity: II. The aetiobgical role of genes, family relationships and perinatal activity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 691709.Google Scholar
La Hoste, G. J., Swanson, J. M., Wigal, S. B., et al (1994) Dopamine D4 receptor gene polymorphism is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 1, 121124.Google Scholar
Levy, F., Hay, D. A., McStephen, M., et al (1997) Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a category or a continuum? Genetic analysis of a large-scale twin study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 737744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGuffin, P., Owen, M. J., O'Donovan, M. C., et al (1994) Seminars in Psychiatric Genetics. London: Gaskell.Google Scholar
Rowe, D. C., Stever, C., Giedinghagen, L. N., et al (1990) Dopamine DRD-4 receptor polymorphism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 3, 419426.Google Scholar
Rutter, M., Tlzard, J. & Whitmore, K. (1970) Education, Health and behaviour, pp. 412421. London: Longman.Google Scholar
Sherman, D. K., Iacono, W. G. & McGue, M. (1997) Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder dimensions: A twin study of inattention and impulsivity – hyperactivity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36, 745753.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Silberg, J., Rutter, M., Meyer, J., et al (1996) Genetic and environmental influences on the covariation between hyperactivity and conduct disturbance in juvenile twins. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 803816.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Smalley, S. L., Bailey, J. N., Palmer, C. G., et al (1998) Evidence that the dopamine D4 receptor is a susceptibility gene in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 3, 427430.Google Scholar
Stevenson, J. (1992) Evidence for a genetic etiology in hyperactivity in children, behavior Genetics, 22, 337344.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stevenson, J., Pennington, B. F., Gilger, J. W., et al (1993) Hyperactivity and spelling disability: Testing for shared genetic aetiology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34, 11371152.Google Scholar
Swanson, J. M., Sunohara, G. A., Kennedy, J. L., et al (1998) Association of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene with a refined phenotype of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a family-based approach. Molecular Psychiatry, 3, 3841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, E. (1994) Syndromes of attention deficit and overactivity. In Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Modern Approaches (eds Rutter, M., Taylor, E. & Hersov, L.), pp. 285307. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific.Google Scholar
Thapar, A., Hervas, A. & McGuffin, P. (1995) Childhood hyperactivity scores are highly heritable and show sibling competition effects: twin study evidence. Behavioral Genetics, 25, 537544.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
World Health Organization (1992) The Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD–10). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.