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Scientists show how gene variant linked to ADHD could operate
Date:8/16/2011

ers, particularly if their symptoms go untreated.

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder of childhood, and the number of children diagnosed continues to rise. According to the Center for Disease Control's National Survey of Children's Health, the number of children aged 4-17 years that were identified by their parent as ever being diagnosed with ADHD increased by 21.8 percent from 2003-2007. By 2007, nearly one in 10 children aged 4-17 years were, at some point, diagnosed with ADHD. Among children with current ADHD diagnoses, 66.3 percent were taking medication for the disorder.

The most commonly used treatment for ADHD involves administering psychostimulant medications. Although these medications alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD, it is unclear how these compounds act within the brain to do so.

"Our results suggest that psychostimulants might reduce glutamate release by amplifying this D4/D2S interaction," said Dr. Sergi Ferre, primary author for the study. "These results might also explain why these medications are less efficient in patients with the D4.7 variant."


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