Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

Another gene linked to ADHD

03 May 2011

By Dr Tamara Hirsch

Appeared in BioNews 605

Korean scientists have uncovered another gene, GIT1, linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study, published in Nature Medicine, provides further evidence that this behavioural condition has a genetic component. It is sometimes attributed to poor parenting.

One SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) or single variant in the GIT1 gene trebled the chances that a child suffered from ADHD, according to the research. Additionally, mice that lacked the GIT1 gene showed ADHD-like symptoms, including hyperactivity and impaired learning and memory.

The team looked at humans and mice. First, they scanned ADHD-associated genes identified in previous genome-wide analyses, specifically focusing on DNA linked to brain function. One potential candidate was GIT1.

Comparison of the sequence of the GIT1 gene in 192 Korean children with ADHD and a group of 196 age-matched children without the condition found a SNP called rs550818 was more common in children with ADHD than in the control group.

Next, they genetically engineered mice to lack the GIT1 gene. Approximately half of the mice died soon after birth. Surviving mice lacking GIT1 weighed significantly less than normal mice of the same age (minus 60-70 percent), but otherwise looked normal.

The genetically-modified mice also responded to drugs used to treat human ADHD, including Ritalin. This reduced their ADHD-like activity back to the normal levels seen in control animals. Lead author Dr Eunjin Kim writes in the paper: 'By extension, these results suggest that the reduced expression of GIT1 can lead to ADHD in humans'. 

ADHD is one of the commonest behavioural disorders in the UK, according to NHS figures. It is estimated to affect 3-9 percent of school-aged children and young people. The main symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Genetic code change linked to ADHD
Press Association | 18 April 2011
 
Nature Medicine | 17 April 2011
 
Daily Mail | 18 April 2011
 
NHS Choices | 18 April 2011
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

24 February 2014 - by Dr Barbara Kramarz 
Children carrying a specific variant of an ADHD-related gene are more likely to watch violent TV and play violent video games, research suggests...
04 March 2013 - by Dr Anna Cauldwell 
Five of the most common psychiatric disorders share genetic risk factors, an international study published in the Lancet has found...
09 May 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas 
British scientists say they have discovered a link between an individual's satisfaction with life and the type of 5-HTT gene they carry. The 5-HTT gene encodes a transporter for the brain chemical serotonin, which has previously been associated with regulating mood. Individuals carrying the long version of the gene were shown to...

04 October 2010 - by Chris Chatterton and Rose Palmer 
Last week researchers from Cardiff University published a study in the Lancet, where they claimed to have uncovered evidence of a genetic link to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)...
21 December 2009 - by Fenno Outen 
Useful research in mental health care has historically been in short supply. Whether the issue is accurate diagnosis of problems, understanding their causes or the delivery of reliable treatment, there remains plenty of room for progress. For example, it is common for clinicians to disagree about diagnoses or for them to be changed on a regular basis. Furthermore a diagnosis provides a relatively poor guide to effective treatment....
16 November 2009 - by Gozde Zorlu 
A new study has linked a gene implicated in regulating how much sleep a child needs to bipolar disorder in children. Variations in a gene called RORB, which is known to affect sleeping patterns through disrupting the regulation of the body's internal 'circadian' rhythm, are likely more common among children with bipolar disorder, according to research published online in the journal BMC Psychiatry. But more research is needed to validate the findings, said the researchers....

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation