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Psychiatr Genet. 2002 Dec;12(4):207-15.

Dopamine system genes and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis.

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Division of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


The dopamine system may play a major role in the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We applied a random-effects model meta-analysis to family-based studies of association between ADHD and the dopamine system genes DRD4, DRD5 and DAT1. A statistical test of heterogeneity was conducted for each group of studies. The meta-analysis of DRD4 included data from 13 studies, with a total of 571 informative meioses. The pooled odds ratio estimate was 1.41 (95% CI 1.20-1.64, =1.57 x 10 ), demonstrating positive association. For DRD5, data from five studies, with a total of 340 informative meioses, were combined yielding a pooled odds ratio of 1.57 (95% CI 1.25-1.96, =8.28 x 10 ). Eleven studies examining DAT1, with a total of 824 informative meioses, yielded a non-significant pooled odds ratio estimate of 1.27 (95% CI 0.99-1.63, 0.06). There was no support of heterogeneity between the studies. Overall, the meta-analyses support the involvement of the dopamine system genes in ADHD liability variation and suggest the need for studies examining interactions between these genes.

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