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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003 Oct;42(10):1242-8.

Deficient response inhibition as a cognitive endophenotype of ADHD.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Huispostnr: F05.126, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. d.willemse@psych.azu.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether a deficient response inhibition is a cognitive endophenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The authors hypothesized that nonaffected siblings of ADHD probands would have a response inhibition between that of ADHD probands and normal controls, although they resembled the controls at a behavioral level.

METHOD:

Participants were 25 ADHD probands with a family history of ADHD, their nonaffected siblings (n = 25), and 48 normal controls matched for age and IQ. All participants were between 6 and 17 years of age. The nonaffected siblings were compared with their ADHD siblings and with controls on measures reflecting different types of response inhibition.

RESULTS:

The nonaffected siblings had results similar to those of the ADHD probands, who differed from the controls on all inhibition measures (p <.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Siblings of ADHD probands, while not behaviorally expressing the disorder, have ADHD-associated deficits in response inhibition. This suggests that subtyping based on measures of response inhibition can help identify genetic susceptibility to ADHD. Children with a genetic vulnerability to ADHD may have hidden cognitive deficits in the absence of manifest behavioral symptoms. Therefore, they should be monitored to detect possible learning problems.

PMID:
14560175
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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