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BMC Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 28;7:10.

Association study between the monoamine oxidase A gene and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Taiwanese samples.

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MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.



Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common and highly heritable disorder of childhood characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Molecular genetic and pharmacological studies suggest the involvement of the dopaminergic, serotonergic and noradrenergic neurotransmitter systems in the pathogenesis of ADHD. Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) encodes an enzyme that degrades biogenic amines, including neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. In this study we examined a 30 bp promoter variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) and a functional G/T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 941 in exon 8 (941G/T) of MAO-A for association with ADHD in a Taiwanese sample of 212 ADHD probands.


Within-family transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) was used to analyse association of MAO-A polymorphisms with ADHD in a Taiwanese population.


A nominally significant association was found between the G-allele of 941G/T in MAO-A and ADHD (TDT: P = 0.034. OR = 1.57). Haplotype analysis identified increased transmission of a haplotype consisting of the 3-repeat allele of the promoter VNTR and the G-allele of the 941G/T SNP (P = 0.045) to ADHD cases which the strong association with the G-allele drove.


These findings suggest the importance of the 941G/T MAO-A polymorphism in the development of ADHD in the Taiwanese population. These results replicate previously published findings in a Caucasian sample.

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