Genetic Risk Factors for ADHD Identified

Genetic Risk Factors for ADHD Identified

by Namitha Kumar on Nov 30 2018 12:46 PM
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  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heritable disorder and globally affects around 2.5 percent adults and 5 percent children
  • The genetic causes underlying ADHD were not identified so far
  • In this study, scientists have identified 12 independent loci on the genome where mutations can lead to ADHD
  • According to Prof. Anders Børglum, co-author of the research, it was already known that ADHD was heritable and genetic factors accounted for nearly 70-80% of all diagnosed cases

Genes play a major role in the heritability of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) accounting for nearly 70-80 percent of all diagnosed cases. Till the current study, the associated genes were not identified. Global collaboration with researchers from the Danish iPSYCH project, the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium have been able to identify 12 independent loci on the genome where mutations can lead to ADHD. The study has been published in Nature Genetics.

Discovery of the First Genome-wide significant risk loci for ADHD

The researchers engaged in a genome-wide association metanalysis of 20,183 individuals with ADHD compared to a control group of 35,000 normal individuals. The comparative study led to the identifications of 12 independent loci where people with a genetic risk were susceptible to inheriting ADHD.

Associate Professor Ditte Demontis from Aarhus University reported that the large dataset of both the ADHD group and control group helped them to single out the genomic locations in people with ADHD as against normal individuals. These genomic locations are predictors of an individual’s risk of developing ADHD. The affected genes are mainly expressed in the brain.

ADHD biology was so far not very well understood, and this study paves the way for more research as to how genes and environment can play a role in an individual developing ADHD. Such research will also enable better treatment and support options for people with ADHD.

  1. Discovery of the first genome-wide significant risk loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder - ( )


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