Neuroimaging of response interference in twins concordant or discordant for inattention and hyperactivity symptoms.

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.12). 03/2009; 164(1):16-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.01.056
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is to a large extent influenced by genetic factors, but environmental influences are considered important as well. To distinguish between functional brain changes underlying primarily genetically and environmentally mediated ADHD, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare response interference in monozygotic twins highly concordant or discordant for attention problems (AP). AP scores were assessed longitudinally with the Child Behavior Check List attention problem scale (CBCL-AP). Response interference was measured during two executive function paradigms; a color-word Stroop and a flanker task. The neuroimaging results indicated that, across the entire sample, children with high CBCL-AP scores, relative to children with low CBCL-AP scores, showed decreased activation to response interference in dorsolateral prefrontal, parietal and temporal brain regions. Increased activation was noted in the premotor cortex and regions associated with visual selective attention processing, possibly reflecting compensatory mechanisms to maintain task performance. Specific comparisons of high and low scoring concordant twin pairs suggest that AP of genetic origin was characterized by decreased activation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the Stroop task and right parietal lobe during the flanker task. In contrast, comparison of twins from discordant monozygotic pairs, suggests that AP of environmental origin was characterized by decreased activation in left and right temporal lobe areas, but only during Stroop interference. The finding of distinct brain activation changes to response interference in inattention/hyperactivity of "genetic" versus "environmental" origin, indicates that genetic and environmental risk factors for attention/hyperactivity problems affect the brain in different ways.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Low birth weight (LBW) is associated with attention problems (AP) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The etiology of this association is unclear. We investigate whether there is a causal influence of birth weight (BW) on AP and whether the BW effect is mediated by catch-up growth (CUG) in low-BW children. Longitudinal data from >29,000 twins registered with the Netherlands Twin Register with BW ≥1,500 g and gestational age (GA) ≥32 weeks were analyzed with the cotwin control method. Hyperactivity and AP were assessed at ages 3, 7, 10, and 12 years; weight was assessed at birth and age 2 years. Children in the lowest BW category of 1,500 to 2,000 g scored 0.18 to 0.37 standard deviations (SD) higher on AP than children in the reference category of 3,000 to 3,500 g. This effect was present in term-born and preterm-born children. Importantly, in BW discordant monozygotic (MZ), dizygotic (DZ), and unrelated (UR) pairs, the child with the lower BW scored higher on hyperactivity and AP than the child with the higher BW and within-pair differences were similar for MZ, DZ, and UR pairs. This pattern is consistent with a causal effect of BW on AP. MZ and DZ twin pairs concordant for LBW but discordant for CUG showed similar AP scores, thus ruling out any effect of CUG on AP. These results strongly indicate that the association of birth weight and AP represents a causal relationship. The effects of BW are not explained by CUG in LBW children.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 12/2011; 50(12):1247-54.e2. · 6.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2004 the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) started a large scale biological sample collection in twin families to create a resource for genetic studies on health, lifestyle and personality. Between January 2004 and July 2008, adult participants from NTR research projects were invited into the study. During a home visit between 7:00 and 10:00 am, fasting blood and morning urine samples were collected. Fertile women were bled on day 2-4 of the menstrual cycle, or in their pill-free week. Biological samples were collected for DNA isolation, gene expression studies, creation of cell lines and for biomarker assessment. At the time of blood sampling, additional phenotypic information concerning health, medication use, body composition and smoking was collected. Of the participants contacted, 69% participated. Blood and urine samples were collected in 9,530 participants (63% female, average age 44.4 (SD 15.5) years) from 3,477 families. Lipid profile, glucose, insulin, HbA1c, haematology, CRP, fibrinogen, liver enzymes and creatinine have been assessed. Longitudinal survey data on health, personality and lifestyle are currently available for 90% of all participants. Genome-wide SNP data are available for 3,524 participants, with additional genotyping ongoing. The NTR biobank, combined with the extensive phenotypic information available within the NTR, provides a valuable resource for the study of genetic determinants of individual differences in mental and physical health. It offers opportunities for DNA-based and gene expression studies as well as for future metabolomic and proteomic projects.
    Twin Research and Human Genetics 06/2010; 13(3):231-45. · 1.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Impaired cognitive control has been implicated as an important developmental pathway to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Cognitive control is crucial to suppress interference resulting from conflicting information and can be measured by Stroop-like tasks. This study was conducted to gain insight into conflict processing in children with ADHD. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in an auditory Stroop task. Twenty-four children with ADHD were compared with 24 control children (aged 8-12 years). No deficit in interference control was found on the auditory Stroop task in children with ADHD. Children with ADHD responded more slowly, less accurately and more variably compared to controls. No differences between the groups occurred in the early conflict-related ERPs. However, the difference between the congruent and the incongruent condition in the 450-550 ms time window was absent in the ADHD group compared to controls. In addition, the conflict sustained potential was found frontally in the ADHD group but parietally in the control group. These ERP findings suggest that children with ADHD evaluate conflict to a lesser extent and differ in the way their brains select appropriate responses during conflict compared with controls.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11/2010; 52(3):265-74. · 5.42 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 4, 2014