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Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(6):1342-4. Epub 2006 Jul 17.

Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a speculative hypothesis.

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Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and Division of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention that begins in childhood. The underlying pathogenesis of this disorder is still unknown, although pharmacological, genetic and neuroimaging studies suggest that dopamine transportation may be implicated in the pathogenesis of ADHD. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6), similar to other members of the signal transducer and activator of transcription family of proteins, is an important molecule in the induction and regulation of the immune response. Animal studies have demonstrated that STAT6 is highly expressed in the CNS, especially in the developing brain. Recent studies have demonstrated that STAT6-deficient mice exhibit increased locomotor activity and decreased levels of dopamine transporter expression in the striatum, when compared with the wild-type. From these findings, and evidence from other studies, it can be proposed that STAT6 may be implicated in the pathogenesis of ADHD. Several proposals to test this hypothesis are suggested; attempts to prove the STAT6-ADHD hypothesis may provide a new direction that elucidates the pathogenesis of and a treatment for ADHD.

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