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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2004 Oct;28(6):625-41.

Molecular genetic aspects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany.


Two genome wide scans, one of which was subsequently extended, have led to the identification of different chromosomal regions assumed to harbour genes underlying attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of these regions were also identified in patients with autism and/or dyslexia. The only region for which both studies detected a LOD score >1 was on chr 5p13 which is in the vicinity of the location of the candidate gene DAT1. The candidate gene approach has revealed the most robust and replicated findings for DRD4, DRD5, and DAT1 polymorphisms. Meanwhile interesting endophenotype studies have also been conducted suggesting a genetic basis for different diagnostic and therapeutic criteria. Animal studies for ADHD have investigated especially hyperactivity and have focused mainly on knockout and QTL designs. In knockout mice models the most promising results were obtained for genes of the dopaminergic pathway. QTL results in rodents suggest multiple loci underlying different forms of natural and induced hyperactivity. The molecular results mentioned above are presented and discussed in detail, thus providing both clinicians and geneticists with an overview of the current research status of this important child and adolescent psychiatric disorder.

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