Researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have identified genetic variations in the brain signaling pathways that may be linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) leading to hope that new treatments could be designed in future to treat those who are affected by the variations.
The researchers said that the mutations were in four genes of the glutamate receptor gene family and revealed that more than 10 percent of ADHD patients had this kind of variations. The researchers expressed hope that new drugs could be developed in future as part of treatment options for such patients.
The researchers conducted the study on 5,100 children, of which 1,000 of whom suffered from ADHD. They conducted complete genome analysis of all the children and compared the results with a larger group of nearly 12,000 children, 2,500 of whom had ADHD. They found variations in four genes among which gene GMR5 showed the strongest result.
"Members of the GMR gene family, along with genes they interact with, affect nerve transmission, the formation of neurons, and interconnections in the brain, so the fact that children with ADHD are more likely to have alterations in these genes reinforces previous evidence that the GMR pathway is important in ADHD", lead researcher Dr Hakon Hakonarson said.