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The role of genetic factors in adult ADHD
Date:9/15/2009

f individual genes, makes it necessary to investigate large samples of patients. For this reason, a group of researchers focusing on the genetics of ADHD in adults decided to pool their efforts in the International Multicentre persistent ADHD CollaboraTion, IMpACT.

Formed in 2007 and coordinated by Dr. Barbara Franke, IMpACT has the goal of performing and promoting high quality research in adult ADHD. IMpACT consists of research groups from 5 European countries and 2 groups from the USA. Each group contributes both clinical and genetic expertise to IMpACT. Together, the groups coordinate the largest clinical ADHD sample worldwide, consisting of more than 2700 adult patients and 3500 controls.

  • In 2008, IMpACT members consolidated their collaboration by starting up several collaborative projects, aimed at meta-analysis of existing genetic data, as well as replication of genetic findings of individual group members in the IMpACT sample. The first of these studies are to be published in 2009 (e.g. Ribases et al., 2009; Sanchez-Mora et al., 2009).

  • The goals for 2009 include the development of a uniform phenotyping protocol for the IMpACT member sites and the scientific community working on adult ADHD genetics, as well as setting up a combined database of phenotypic and genotypic information of the IMpACT sample.

  • From 2010, IMpACT will prioritise genome-wide association studies, as well as further genetic and clinical studies on adult ADHD.

Risk genes for ADHD

Meta-analysis of genetic data in IMpACT has, so far, focused mainly on established ADHD genes from studies in children. The gene encoding the dopamine transporter (DAT1), a regulator of signalling through the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, has been studied multiple times. Though results have been inconsistent for single genetic variants, a combination of genetic variations at two positions of the gene seems to increase ADH
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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
431-405-5734
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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