Separation of genetic influences on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and reaction time performance from those on IQ

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.
Psychological Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.43). 09/2009; 40(6):1027-37. DOI: 10.1017/S003329170999119X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shows a strong phenotypic and genetic association with reaction time (RT) variability, considered to reflect lapses in attention. Yet we know little about whether this aetiological pathway is shared with other affected cognitive processes in ADHD, such as lower IQs or the generally slower responses (mean RTs). We aimed to address the question of whether a shared set of genes exist that influence RT variability, mean RT, IQ and ADHD symptom scores, or whether there is evidence of separate aetiological pathways.
Multivariate structural equation modelling on cognitive tasks data (providing RT data), IQ and ADHD ratings by parents and teachers collected on general population sample of 1314 twins, at ages 7-10 years.
Multivariate structural equation models indicated that the shared genetic influences underlying both ADHD symptom scores and RT variability are also shared with those underlying mean RT, with both types of RT data largely indexing the same underlying liability. By contrast, the shared genetic influences on ADHD symptom scores and RT variability (or mean RT) are largely independent of the genetic influences that ADHD symptom scores share with IQ.
The finding of unique aetiological pathways between IQ and RT data, but shared components between mean RT, RT variability and ADHD symptom scores, illustrates key influences in the genetic architecture of the cognitive and energetic processes that underlie the behavioural symptoms of ADHD. In addition, the multivariate genetic model fitting findings provide valuable information for future molecular genetic analyses.

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    Obesity 11/2014; 22(11). DOI:10.1002/oby.20862 · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Intra-individual variability in reaction time (IIV-RT), defined by standard deviation of RT (RTSD), is considered as an endophenotype for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ex-Gaussian distributions of RT, rather than RTSD, could better characterize moment-to-moment fluctuations in neuropsychological performance. However, data of response variability based on ex-Gaussian parameters as an endophenotypic candidate for ADHD are lacking.Method We assessed 411 adolescents with clinically diagnosed ADHD based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria as probands, 138 unaffected siblings, and 138 healthy controls. The output parameters, mu, sigma, and tau, of an ex-Gaussian RT distribution were derived from the Conners' continuous performance test. Multi-level models controlling for sex, age, comorbidity, and use of methylphenidate were applied.ResultsCompared with unaffected siblings and controls, ADHD probands had elevated sigma value, omissions, commissions, and mean RT. Unaffected siblings formed an intermediate group in-between probands and controls in terms of tau value and RTSD. There was no between-group difference in mu value. Conforming to a context-dependent nature, unaffected siblings still had an intermediate tau value in-between probands and controls across different interstimulus intervals.Conclusion Our findings suggest IIV-RT represented by tau may be a potential endophenotype for inquiry into genetic underpinnings of ADHD in the context of heterogeneity.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 01/2015; DOI:10.1111/acps.12393 · 5.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While the negative association between ADHD symptoms and IQ is well documented, our knowledge about the direction and aetiology of this association is limited. Here, we examine the association of ADHD symptoms with verbal and performance IQ longitudinally in a population-based sample of twins. In a population-based sample of 4,771 twin pairs, DSM-IV ADHD symptoms were obtained from the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale-Revised. Verbal (vocabulary) and performance (Raven’s Progressive Matrices) IQ were assessed online. ADHD symptom ratings and IQ scores were obtained at ages 12, 14 and 16 years. Making use of the genetic sensitivity and time-ordered nature of our data, we use a cross-lagged model to examine the direction of effects, while modelling the aetiologies of the association between ADHD symptoms with vocabulary and Raven’s scores over time. Although time-specific aetiological influences emerged for each trait at ages 14 and 16 years, the aetiological factors involved in the association between ADHD symptoms and IQ were stable over time. ADHD symptoms and IQ scores significantly predicted each other over time. ADHD symptoms at age 12 years were a significantly stronger predictor of vocabulary and Raven’s scores at age 14 years than vice versa, whereas no differential predictive effects emerged from age 14 to 16 years. The results suggest that ADHD symptoms may put adolescents at risk for decreased IQ scores. Persistent genetic influences seem to underlie the association of ADHD symptoms and IQ over time. Early intervention is likely to be key to reducing ADHD symptoms and the associated risk for lower IQ.
    PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124357. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124357 · 3.53 Impact Factor

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