Behavioural problems in children is addressed by early intervention. Identifying sources of variation in intervention effects can suggest means to improve efficiency.
Psychopathology is the study of mental illness or mental distress or the manifestation of behaviours and experiences, which indicates mental illness or psychological impairment.
Genome is one potential source of such variation. The fast track randomised control trial, 10 year long intervention period, conducted genetic analysis to prevent high-risk kindergarteners from developing adult externalizing problems including substance abuse and antisocial behavior.
Tests were conducted to associate variants of the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1 with differences in response to the Fast Track intervention.
Glucocorticoid receptors, regulates genes controlling the development, metabolism, and immune response and has various effects in different parts of the body. It functions as a major component of endocrine influence - specifically the stress response upon the brain.
A variant of NR3C1 identified by the single-nucleotide polymorphism rs10482672 was associated with increased risk for externalizing psychopathology in European-American children belonging to the control group and decreased risk for externalizing psychopathology in intervention group.
There was no association between variation in NR3C1 and differential intervention response in African-American children.