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Neuroscience. 2009 Nov 24;164(1):230-40. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.07.024. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Understanding genes, environment and their interaction in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: is there a role for neuroimaging?

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Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has an established heritable component, but identifying the genes involved has proven difficult. To date, the two most investigated risk genes in ADHD are the DRD4 and DAT1-genes. However, individual risk genes have only explained up to 1% of the variance in the phenotype, suggesting that they represent only relatively small risk factors for ADHD. As such, the role of environmental factors, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions are being investigated. However, studies have not always been able to address the neurobiological mechanisms by which environmental factors and interactions with genes exert their effect on the ADHD-phenotype. Neuroimaging is being used as a tool to investigate the neurobiological effects of individual risk genes. We suggest it could also be applied to investigate the mechanisms involved in environmental effects and interactions between genetic and environmental factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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