MONDAY, November 26, 2018 (Millions of Americans with Disturbance / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may have genetic susceptibility to illness, a new study shows.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 55,000 people and identified 12 regions of the genes associated with ADHD. These regions are likely to affect the central nervous system, say the authors of the study. The discovery can help scientists develop new treatments for ADHD, affecting more than 9 percent of American children.
"We all have variants of genetic risk for ADHD," explains researcher Anders Borglum, a professor of biomedicine at the Aarhus University in Denmark. "The more we have, the greater the risk of developing ADHD."
These same genetic areas have a link with 200 other diseases and traits, he said. The researchers also found that 44 gene variants implicated in ADHD associated with depression, anorexia, and insomnia.
"Now we understand better why some people develop ADHD and start to gain insight into basic biology, which paves the way for a new and better treatment of ADHD," added Borglum.
The genetic areas discovered by their team show that this is above all a brain, Borglum said.
The researchers also found that genes that may be associated with ADHD play a role in the interaction between brain cells and affect speech development, learning and regulating dopamine (a chemical messenger that transmits signals between brain cells).
However, the vast majority of ADHD genetics has not yet been detected and will require higher studies, Borglum said.
The author of the study, Stephen Faraone, said the team "found 12 of many – we do not know how many – probably thousands of genes associated with ADHD." Faraone is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y.
Researchers do not expect to detect only one, two, or even 10 genes that have a dramatic effect on ADHD and can be used to diagnose disorders or rapidly develop therapy, he said. Most likely, the combination of genes and environmental factors is caused by ADHD, the authors of the study said.
Environmental factors can involve the birth of premature and insufficient weight or suffer from developmental problems, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, said Faraone.
It is interesting, he added, although the drugs work in the treatment of ADHD, they do not target the genes found by researchers associated with these conditions. None of the genes that drugs do show appear in the analysis of ADHD-related genes, Faraone said.
The report was published on November 26 in the journal Natural genetics.
Ronald Brown, Dean of the Medical School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said: "This is a promising investigation, as it provides further evidence that ADHD is probably a hereditary disorder." Brown was not involved in the studio, but he was familiar with the findings.
It was clear to years that ADHD is working in families, he said. These findings are also important because they suggest that certain therapies that are effective for one family member are likely to be effective for other family members diagnosed with ADHD, he added.
This study is also important because it shows that several psychological disorders are probably related to these genes, although the study did not show cause-effect relationship. This information could help families with efforts in prevention and early intervention, Brown said.