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Tags: adhd | genetic | history | attention | deficit | hyperactivity | disorder

Specific Genes Tied to ADHD

Monday, 05 December 2011 04:17 PM EST

Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have particular genetic differences, suggests a study published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Thus, researchers say, the short attention span, impulsive behavior, and excessive activity common in kids with ADHD may be passed down from parent to child.

In the study, researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia analyzed the whole genomes of 5,000 children -- about 4,000 with ADHD and 1,000 without.

They found that 10 percent of the kids with ADHD had "copy number variations," i.e., significant differences in four genes that are part of the glutamate receptor gene family (especially gene GMR5). Glutamate is a protein that transmits signals between neurons in the brain, researchers note.

"[T]he 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," said study leader Dr. Hakon Hakonarson.

About 5.2 million children in the U.S. between the ages of 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© HealthDay

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be passed down from parent to child, researchers say.
Monday, 05 December 2011 04:17 PM
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