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Psychiatry Res. 2007 Jan 15;149(1-3):297-302. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Plasma homovanillic acid correlates inversely with history of learning problems in healthy volunteer and personality disordered subjects.

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  • 1Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, MC #3077, The University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. ecoccaro@yoda.bsd.uchicago.edu

Abstract

Central dopaminergic activity is critical to the functioning of both motor and cognitive systems. Based on the therapeutic action of dopaminergic agents in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), ADHD symptoms may be related to a reduction in central dopaminergic activity. We tested the hypothesis that dopaminergic activity, as reflected by plasma homovanillic acid (pHVA), may be related to dimensional aspects of ADHD in adults. Subjects were 30 healthy volunteer and 39 personality disordered subjects, in whom morning basal pHVA concentration and a dimensional measure of childhood ADHD symptoms (Wender Utah Rating Scale: WURS) were obtained. A significant inverse correlation was found between WURS Total score and pHVA concentration in the total sample. Among WURS factor scores, a significant inverse relationship was noted between pHVA and history of "childhood learning problems". Consistent with the dopaminergic dysfunction hypothesis of ADHD and of cognitive function, pHVA concentrations were correlated with childhood history of ADHD symptoms in general and with history of "learning problems" in non-ADHD psychiatric patients and controls. Replication is needed in treated and untreated ADHD samples to confirm these initial results.

PMID:
17113158
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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