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Front Psychiatry. 2017 Nov 9;8:228. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00228. eCollection 2017.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder And Inflammation: What Does Current Knowledge Tell Us? A Systematic Review.

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Neuropsychiatry Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - UT Health, Houston, TX, United States.
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex condition that interferes with development and/or functioning. Our objective is to investigate the potential association between ADHD and inflammation.


We conducted a systematic review of human studies measuring inflammatory markers in ADHD. The studies were identified by searching PUBMED, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PSYCHINFO, COCHRANE, and SCOPUS databases for peer-reviewed journals published until September 2016. We included cytokine gene expression and protein measured. Fourteen papers met the inclusion criteria.


Seven studies evaluated the association of cytokine gene polymorphisms in ADHD, and six studies measured cytokines levels in blood. One study analyzed the presence of cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid in patients with ADHD. Altogether, these studies indicate a possible role of inflammation in ADHD pathogenesis, despite the significant heterogeneity and contradictory results.


Evidence points to the association of ADHD with inflammatory processes, but more studies are warranted.


ADHD; attention-deficit; cytokines; inflammation; inflammatory markers

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