Association of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene 7-repeat allele with children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): An update
ABSTRACT Polymorphisms of the dopamine receptor D4 gene DRD4, 11p15.5, have previously been associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [Bobb et al., 2005; Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 132:109-125; Faraone et al., 2005; Biol Psychiatry 57:1313-1323; Thapar et al., 2005; Hum Mol Genet 14 Spec No. 2:R275-R282]. As a follow up to a pilot study [see Castellanos et al., 1998; Mol Psychiatry 3:431-434] consisting of 41 probands and 56 controls which found no significant association between the DRD4 7-repeat allele in exon 3 and ADHD, a greatly expanded study sample (cases n = 166 and controls n = 282) and long term follow-up (n = 107, baseline mean age n = 9, follow-up mean age of n = 15) prompted reexamination of this gene. The DRD4 7-repeat allele was significantly more frequent in ADHD cases than controls (OR = 1.2; P = 0.028). Further, within the ADHD group, the 7-repeat allele was associated with better cognitive performance (measured by the WISC-III) (P = 0.013-0.07) as well as a trend for association with better long-term outcome. This provides further evidence of the role of the DRD4 7-repeat allele in the etiology of ADHD and suggests that this allele may be associated with a more benign form of the disorder.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to examine functional brain activity in response to unpleasant images in individuals with the 7-repeat (7R) allele compared to individuals with the 4-repeat (4R) allele of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene (VNTR in exon 3). Based on the response ready hypothesis, individuals with the DRD4-4R/7R genotype were expected to show greater functional brain activity in response to unpleasant compared to neutral stimuli in specific regions of the frontal, temporal, parietal and limbic lobes, which form the networks involved in attentional, emotional, and preparatory responses. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging activity was studied in 26 young adults (13 with the DRD4-4R/7R genotype and 13 with the DRD4-4R/4R genotype). Participants were asked to look at and subjectively rate unpleasant and neutral images. Results showed increased brain activity in response to unpleasant images compared to neutral images in the right temporal lobe in participants with the DRD4-4R/7R genotype versus participants with the DRD4-4R/4R genotype. The increase in right temporal lobe activity in individuals with DRD4-4R/7R suggests greater involvement in processing negative emotional stimuli. Intriguingly, no differences were found between the two genotypes in the subjective ratings of the images. The findings corroborate the response ready hypothesis, which suggests that individuals with the 7R allele are more responsive to negative emotional stimuli compared to individuals with the 4R allele of the DRD4 gene.Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 11/2014; 231(1). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.10.021 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests the involvement of the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) in the pathogenesis of ADHD, but the exact mechanism is not well understood. Earlier reports on the effects of DRD4 polymorphisms on neurocognitive and neuroimaging measures are inconsistent. This study investigated the functional consequences of the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 on neurocognitive endophenotypes of ADHD in the Dutch subsample of the International Multicenter ADHD Genetics study. Participants were 350 children (5-11.5 years) and adolescents (11.6-19 years) with ADHD and their 195 non-affected siblings. An overall measure of neuropsychological functioning was derived by principal component analysis from five neurocognitive and five motor tasks. The effects of DRD4 and age were examined using Linear Mixed Model analyses. The analyses were stratified for affected and non-affected participants after finding a significant three-way interaction between ADHD status, age and the 7-repeat allele. Apart from a main effect of age, a significant interaction effect of age and DRD4 was found in non-affected but not in affected participants, with non-affected adolescent carriers of the 7-repeat allele showing worse neuropsychological performance. In addition, carrying the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 was related to a significantly worse performance on verbal working memory in non-affected siblings, independent of age. These results might indicate that the effect of the DRD4 7-repeat allele on neuropsychological functioning is dependent on age and ADHD status.The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 11/2011; 13(4):293-305. DOI:10.3109/15622975.2011.595822 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The personality trait Openness/Intellect reflects the tendency to be imaginative, curious, perceptive, artistic, and intellectual-all characteristics that involve cognitive exploration. Little is known about the biological basis of Openness/Intellect, but the trait has been linked to cognitive functions of prefrontal cortex, and the neurotransmitter dopamine plays a key role in motivation to explore. The hypothesis that dopamine is involved in Openness/Intellect was supported by examining its association with two genes that are central components of the prefrontal dopaminergic system. In two demographically different samples (children: N = 608; adults: N = 214), variation in the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) and the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) predicted Openness/Intellect, as main effects in the child sample and in interaction in adults.Journal of Research in Personality 08/2011; 45(4):364-371. DOI:10.1016/j.jrp.2011.04.002 · 2.00 Impact Factor