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Psychiatr Genet. 2005 Mar;15(1):53-9.

Meta-analysis of family-based association studies between the dopamine transporter gene and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1CHU Robert Debré (AP-HP, Paris VII), Paris, France.



Molecular genetic research has mainly focused on the D4 dopamine receptor (DRD4) and the dopamine transporter (DAT) genes in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A recent meta-analysis showed that the DRD4 gene has a significant role in the vulnerability to ADHD.


With an equal number of positive and negative association studies between the 10-repeat of the DAT gene and ADHD, a meta-analysis is required for this other candidate gene.


We re-analysed the 13 published family-based association studies between ADHD and the DAT gene. Following recent recommendations, different biases were specifically assessed, such as the sample-size effect and the time effect.


The meta-analysis showed no significant association between ADHD and the DAT gene (P = 0.21), but an important between-samples heterogeneity (P = 0.0009). Odds ratios above 1 are mostly observed in studies with a small number of informative transmissions, and decrease with larger sample size.


Contrary to what was found for the DRD4 gene, the 10-repeat allele of the DAT gene has at most a minor role in the genetic susceptibility of ADHD. The different biases detected herein probably explain the initial impression of a significant impact of the DAT gene on hyperactivity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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