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Mol Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;9(3):252-9.

Pedigree disequilibrium test (PDT) replicates association and linkage between DRD4 and ADHD in multigenerational and extended pedigrees from a genetic isolate.

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  • 1National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1852, USA.


Association/linkage between dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) polymorphisms and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been suggested by case-control- and nuclear-family-based studies. Here, we present a candidate gene analysis for DRD4 using 14 extended and multigenerational families segregating ADHD derived from the 'Paisa' community of Antioquia, Colombia, a genetic isolate. Two DRD4 polymorphisms (a 120 bp tandem duplication at the promoter and a 48 bp-VNTR at exon 3), reported associated to ADHD, were genotyped. Parametric and non-parametric linkage analyses, and a family-based association test (FBAT), the pedigree disequilibrium test (PDT), were applied to search for evidence of association/linkage. Two-point LOD scores were significantly negative, with values ranging from -3.21 (P=0.011158) to -7.66 (P=0.000091 at theta=0). Non-parametrical analysis resulted in nonsignificant evidence for linkage. The PDT showed a moderate trend toward significance of association/linkage between the 7-repeat (7R) allele at the 48 bp VNTR and ADHD (P=0.0578). Furthermore, the haplotype analysis shows a significant association/linkage of the 7R-240 bp haplotype (P=0.0467) with ADHD. Results suggest that either a moderate DRD4 genetic effect, or linkage disequilibrium of DRD4 with an ADHD disease locus in the vicinity or the linkage to a phenotypic component of the ADHD spectrum could be underlying this association/linkage. These results provide further evidence for the association of ADHD to genetic variation in or near to DRD4 and replicate the previously reported association between ADHD and the 7R allele.

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