About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Genetic Correlation Between ADHD And Delay Discounting

by Julia Samuel on December 27, 2017 at 3:06 PM
Font : A-A+

Genetic Correlation Between ADHD And Delay Discounting

Delay discounting or the tendency to undervalue future rewards that overlap with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), smoking and weight have a genetic link.

A research team used data from 23andme customers who consented to participate in research and answered survey questions to assess delay discounting. In all, the study included the data of more than 23,000 people to show that approximately 12 percent of a person's variation in delay discounting can be attributed to genetics, not a single gene, but numerous genetic variants that also influence several other psychiatric and behavioral traits.

Advertisement


According to Abraham Palmer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and vice chair for basic research at UC San Diego School of Medicine, every complicated nervous system needs a way of assessing the value of current versus delayed rewards. Most people think of the "marshmallow experiment," he said, referring to the classic experiment where children were tested for their ability to delay gratification by giving them the choice between one marshmallow now or two marshmallows a few minutes later.

"A person's ability to delay gratification is not just a curiosity, it's integrally important to physical and mental health," Palmer said. "In addition, a person's economic success is tied to delay discounting. Take seeking higher education and saving for retirement as examples -- these future rewards are valuable in today's economy, but we're finding that not everyone has the same inclination to achieve them."
Advertisement

Delay Discounting

For the study, the team looked at data from 23andMe research participants who answered survey questions that could be used to assess delay discounting. For example, customers were asked to choose between two options: "Would you rather have $55 today or $75 in 61 Days?"

"In less than four months, we had responses from more than 23,000 research participants," said Pierre Fontanillas, Ph.D., a senior statistical geneticist at 23andMe. "This shows the power of our research model to quickly gather large amounts of phenotypic and genotypic data for scientific discovery."

By comparing participants' survey responses to their corresponding genotypes and complementary data from other studies, Palmer's team found a number of genetic correlations.

"We discovered, for the first time, a genetic correlation between ADHD and delay discounting," said first author Sandra Sanchez-Roige, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Palmer's lab. "People with ADHD place less value in delayed rewards. That doesn't mean that everyone with ADHD will undervalue future rewards or vice versa, just that the two factors have a common underlying genetic cause."

The research team also found that delay discounting is genetically correlated with smoking initiation. In other words, people who undervalue future rewards may be more likely to start smoking and less likely to quit if they did.

Body weight, as determined by body mass index (BMI), was also strongly correlated with delay discounting, suggesting that people who don't place a high value on future rewards tend to have a higher BMI.

The team determined that delay discounting negatively correlated with three cognitive measures: college attainment, years of education and childhood IQ. In other words, the genetic factors that predict delay discounting also predict these outcomes.

In many studies that rely on surveys, particularly for those in which the participants are paid to fill out the survey, there's always a chance that some answered randomly or carelessly. Palmer's survey included three questions to assess how carefully the research participants were answering the questions.

For example, one asked, "Would you rather have $60 today or $20 today?" There's only one correct answer and the team saw only 2.1 percent of participants get even one of those three questions wrong, assuring them that the vast majority were answering the questions carefully.

While most research studies begin in test tubes, cells grown in the laboratory and animal models before moving to humans, the opposite is true here. After starting with these human observations, Palmer's team is now studying the same delay discounting-related genetic traits in rodent models.

They want to determine if changing those genes experimentally changes rodent behavior as expected. If it does, they will be able to use the animals to study how those delay discounting-related genes lead to those behaviors, at a molecular level.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
Toothache
World AIDS Day 2021 - End Inequalities, End AIDS
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Dyslexia Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Genetics and Stem Cells Bullying at School - Tips For Schools ADHD Dyscalculia / Learning Disabilities Christianson Syndrome Diet to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Mind-wandering Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 

Recommended Reading
Should Young ADHD Children be Medicated?
Children with ADHD who start medications early are likely to perform better academically, says ......
Diet to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects children of ...
FDA Approves Generic Drug Atomoxetine to Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Generic version of atomoxetine drug has been recently approved by the FDA for treating Attention ......
ADHD Treatment Lowers the Chances of Criminality
ADHD is quite common among children; if untested it can result in various health hazards. Adequate ....
Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Adult attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition in adults seen as h...
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that affects normal be...
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...
Dyscalculia / Learning Disabilities
Dyscalculia is a learning disability involving mathematics. Recognized by The WHO, it affects nearl...
Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process ...
Mind-wandering
Mind wandering is a spontaneous and unintentional shifting of attention of thoughts from a primary t...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use