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Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2008 Apr;17(2):261-84, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2007.11.011.

Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Warren 705, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114-2622, USA.


Results of behavioral genetic and molecular genetic studies have converged to suggest that both genetic and nongenetic factors contribute to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Family, twin, and adoption studies provide compelling evidence that genes play a strong role in mediating susceptibility to ADHD. In contrast to a handful of genome-wide scans conducted thus far, many candidate gene studies of ADHD have produced substantial evidence implicating several genes in the etiology of the disorder. Yet, even these associations are small and consistent with the idea that the genetic vulnerability to ADHD is mediated by many genes of small effects. These small effects emphasize the need for future candidate gene studies to implement strategies that will provide enough statistical power to detect such small effects.

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