Robert D Oades

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Pôrto de São Francisco dos Casaes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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Publications (135)645.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Because multiple genes with small effect sizes are assumed to play a role in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) etiology, considering multiple variants within the same analysis likely increases the total explained phenotypic variance, thereby boosting the power of genetic studies. This study investigated whether pathway-based analysis could bring scientists closer to unraveling the biology of ADHD. The pathway was described as a predefined gene selection based on a well-established database or literature data. Common genetic variants in pathways involved in dopamine/norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmission and genes involved in neuritic outgrowth were investigated in cases from the International Multicentre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) study. Multivariable analysis was performed to combine the effects of single genetic variants within the pathway genes. Phenotypes were DSM-IV symptom counts for inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity (n = 871) and symptom severity measured with the Conners Parent (n = 930) and Teacher (n = 916) Rating Scales. Summing genetic effects of common genetic variants within the pathways showed a significant association with hyperactive/impulsive symptoms (pempirical = .007) but not with inattentive symptoms (pempirical = .73). Analysis of parent-rated Conners hyperactive/impulsive symptom scores validated this result (pempirical = .0018). Teacher-rated Conners scores were not associated. Post hoc analyses showed a significant contribution of all pathways to the hyperactive/impulsive symptom domain (dopamine/norepinephrine, pempirical = .0004; serotonin, pempirical = .0149; neuritic outgrowth, pempirical = .0452). The present analysis shows an association between common variants in 3 genetic pathways and the hyperactive/impulsive component of ADHD. This study demonstrates that pathway-based association analyses, using quantitative measurements of ADHD symptom domains, can increase the power of genetic analyses to identify biological risk factors involved in this disorder.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 11/2013; 52(11):1204-1212.e1. · 4.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17–29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohn’s disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
    Nature Genetics 08/2013; AOP. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to increased risk for substance use disorders and nicotine dependence. To examine the effects of stimulant treatment on subsequent risk for substance use disorder and nicotine dependence in a prospective longitudinal ADHD case-control study. At baseline we assessed ADHD, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Substance use disorders, nicotine dependence and stimulant treatment were assessed retrospectively after a mean follow-up of 4.4 years, at a mean age of 16.4 years. Stimulant treatment of ADHD was linked to a reduced risk for substance use disorders compared with no stimulant treatment, even after controlling for conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.91, 95% CI 1.10-3.36), but not to nicotine dependence (HR = 1.12, 95% CI 0.45-2.96). Within the stimulant-treated group, a protective effect of age at first stimulant use on substance use disorder development was found, which diminished with age, and seemed to reverse around the age of 18. Stimulant treatment appears to lower the risk of developing substance use disorders and does not have an impact on the development of nicotine dependence in adolescents with ADHD.
    The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 07/2013; · 6.62 Impact Factor
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    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 07/2013; · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Although attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have not yet identified any common genetic variants that contribute to risk. There is evidence that aggression or conduct disorder in children with ADHD indexes higher genetic loading and clinical severity. The authors examine whether common genetic variants considered en masse as polygenic scores for ADHD are especially enriched in children with comorbid conduct disorder. METHOD Polygenic scores derived from an ADHD GWAS meta-analysis were calculated in an independent ADHD sample (452 case subjects, 5,081 comparison subjects). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to compare polygenic scores in the ADHD and comparison groups and test for higher scores in ADHD case subjects with comorbid conduct disorder relative to comparison subjects and relative to those without comorbid conduct disorder. Association with symptom scores was tested using linear regression. RESULTS Polygenic risk for ADHD, derived from the meta-analysis, was higher in the independent ADHD group than in the comparison group. Polygenic score was significantly higher in ADHD case subjects with conduct disorder relative to ADHD case subjects without conduct disorder. ADHD polygenic score showed significant association with comorbid conduct disorder symptoms. This relationship was explained by the aggression items. CONCLUSIONS Common genetic variation is relevant to ADHD, especially in individuals with comorbid aggression. The findings suggest that the previously published ADHD GWAS meta-analysis contains weak but true associations with common variants, support for which falls below genome-wide significance levels. The findings also highlight the fact that aggression in ADHD indexes genetic as well as clinical severity.
    American Journal of Psychiatry 04/2013; · 14.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: To examine the relationship between a childhood diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with or without oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD) and the development of later alcohol/drug use disorder (psychoactive substance use disorder (PSUD)) and nicotine dependence in a large European sample of ADHD probands, their siblings and healthy control subjects. PARTICIPANTS, DESIGNSETTING: Subjects (n=1017) were participants in the Belgian, Dutch and German part of the International Multicenter ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) study. IMAGE families were identified through ADHD probands aged 5-1715 years attending outpatient clinics, and control subjects from the same geographic areas. After a follow-up period (m:4.4 years) this subsample was reassessed at a mean age of 16.4 years. MEASUREMENTS: PSUD and nicotine dependence were assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Drug Abuse Screening Test, and Fagerström test for Nicotine Dependence. FINDINGS: The ADHD sample was at higher risk of developing PSUD (Hazard Ratio (HR)=1.77, 95%CI= 1.05-3.00) and nicotine dependence (HR=8.61, 95%CI=2.44-30.34) than healthy controls. The rates of these disorders were highest for ADHD youth who also had CD, but could not be accounted for by this comorbidity. We did not find an increased risk of developing PSUD (HR=1.18, 95%CI= .62-2.27) or nicotine dependence (HR=1.89, 95%CI=.46-7.77) among unaffected siblings of ADHD youth. CONCLUSIONS: A childhood diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a risk factor for psychoactive substance use disorder and nicotine dependence in adolescence, and comorbid Conduct Disorder, but not Oppositional Defiant Disorder, further increases the risk of developing psychoactive substance use disorder and nicotine dependence.
    Addiction 03/2013; · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    The Lancet 01/2013; 381(9875):1371-1379. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    The Lancet 01/2013; 381(9875):1371-1379. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Increased reaction time variability (RTV) on cognitive tasks requiring a speeded response is characteristic of several psychiatric disorders. In attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the association with RTV is strong phenotypically and genetically, yet high RTV is not a stable impairment but shows ADHD-sensitive improvement under certain conditions, such as those with rewards. The state regulation theory proposed that the RTV difference score, which captures change from baseline to a rewarded or fast condition, specifically measures 'state regulation'. By contrast, the interpretation of RTV baseline (slow, unrewarded) scores is debated. We aimed to investigate directly the degree of phenotypic and etiological overlap between RTV baseline and RTV difference scores. Method We conducted genetic model fitting analyses on go/no-go and fast task RTV data, across task conditions manipulating rewards and event rate, from a population-based twin sample (n=1314) and an ADHD and control sibling-pair sample (n=1265). RESULTS: Phenotypic and genetic/familial correlations were consistently high (0.72-0.98) between RTV baseline and difference scores, across tasks, manipulations and samples. By contrast, correlations were low between RTV in the manipulated condition and difference scores. A comparison across two different go/no-go task RTV difference scores (slow-fast/slow-incentive) showed high phenotypic and genetic/familial overlap (r = 0.75-0.83). CONCLUSIONS: Our finding that RTV difference scores measure largely the same etiological process as RTV under baseline condition supports theories emphasizing the malleability of the observed high RTV. Given the statistical shortcomings of difference scores, we recommend the use of RTV baseline scores for most analyses, including genetic analyses.
    Psychological Medicine 09/2012; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:  Emotional lability (EL) is commonly seen in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The reasons for this association remain currently unknown. To address this question, we examined the relationship between ADHD and EL symptoms, and performance on a range of neuropsychological tasks to clarify whether EL symptoms are predicted by particular cognitive and/or motivational dysfunctions and whether these associations are mediated by the presence of ADHD symptoms. Methods:  A large multi-site sample of 424 carefully diagnosed ADHD cases and 564 unaffected siblings and controls aged 6-18 years performed a broad neuropsychological test battery, including a Go/No-Go Task, a warned four-choice Reaction Time task, the Maudsley Index of Childhood Delay Aversion and Digit span backwards. Neuropsychological variables were aggregated as indices of processing speed, response variability, executive functions, choice impulsivity and the influence of energetic and/or motivational factors. EL and ADHD symptoms were regressed on each neuropsychological variable in separate analyses controlling for age, gender and IQ, and, in subsequent regression analyses, for ADHD and EL symptoms respectively. Results:  Neuropsychological variables significantly predicted ADHD and EL symptoms with moderate-to-low regression coefficients. However, the association between neuropsychological parameters on EL disappeared entirely when the effect of ADHD symptoms was taken into account, revealing that the association between the neuropsychological performance measures and EL is completely mediated statistically by variations in ADHD symptoms. Conversely, neuropsychological effects on ADHD symptoms remained after EL symptom severity was taken into account. Conclusions:  The neuropsychological parameters examined, herein, predict ADHD more strongly than EL. They cannot explain EL symptoms beyond what is already accounted for by ADHD symptom severity. The association between EL and ADHD cannot be explained by these cognitive or motivational deficits. Alternative mechanisms, including overlapping genetic influences (pleiotropic effects) and/or alternative neuropsychological processes need to be considered.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2012; 53(11):1139-1148. · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (CAARS) assess symptoms specific to adults that are frequently used and have been translated into German. The current study tests the factor structure of the CAARS in a large sample of German adults with ADHD and compares the means of the CAARS subscales with those of healthy German controls. Method: CAARS were completed by 466 participants with ADHD and 851 healthy control participants. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to establish model fit with the American original. Comparisons between participants with ADHD and healthy controls and influences of gender, age, and degree of education were analyzed. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis showed a very good fit with the model for the American original. Differences between ADHD participants and healthy controls on all Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales-Self-Report (CAARS-S) subscales were substantial and significant. Conclusion: The factor structure of the original American model was successfully replicated in this sample of adult German ADHD participants. (J. of Att. Dis. 2012; XX(X) 1-XX).
    Journal of Attention Disorders 03/2012; · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, heritable neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. We performed a whole-genome copy number variation (CNV) study on 1,013 cases with ADHD and 4,105 healthy children of European ancestry using 550,000 SNPs. We evaluated statistically significant findings in multiple independent cohorts, with a total of 2,493 cases with ADHD and 9,222 controls of European ancestry, using matched platforms. CNVs affecting metabotropic glutamate receptor genes were enriched across all cohorts (P = 2.1 × 10(-9)). We saw GRM5 (encoding glutamate receptor, metabotropic 5) deletions in ten cases and one control (P = 1.36 × 10(-6)). We saw GRM7 deletions in six cases, and we saw GRM8 deletions in eight cases and no controls. GRM1 was duplicated in eight cases. We experimentally validated the observed variants using quantitative RT-PCR. A gene network analysis showed that genes interacting with the genes in the GRM family are enriched for CNVs in ∼10% of the cases (P = 4.38 × 10(-10)) after correction for occurrence in the controls. We identified rare recurrent CNVs affecting glutamatergic neurotransmission genes that were overrepresented in multiple ADHD cohorts.
    Nature Genetics 12/2011; 44(1):78-84. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the factor structure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a clinical sample of 1,373 children and adolescents with ADHD and their 1,772 unselected siblings recruited from different countries across a large age range. Hierarchical and correlated factor analytic models were compared separately in the ADHD and sibling samples, across three different instruments and across parent and teacher informants. Specific consideration was given to factorial invariance analyses across different ages and different countries in the ADHD sample. A sample of children and adolescents between 5 and 17 years of age with ADHD and their unselected siblings was assessed. Participants were recruited from seven European countries and Israel. ADHD symptom data came from a clinical interview with parents Parental Account of Childhood Symptoms and questionnaires from parents and teachers (Conners Parent and Teacher). A hierarchical general factor model with two specific factors best represented the structure of ADHD in both the ADHD and unselected sibling groups, and across informants and instruments. The model was robust and invariant with regard to age differences in the ADHD sample. The model was not strongly invariant across different national groups in the ADHD sample, likely reflecting severity differences across the different centers and not any substantial difference in the clinical presentation of ADHD. The results replicate previous studies of a model with a unitary ADHD component and separable specific traits of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. The unique contribution of this study was finding support for this model across a large developmental and multinational/multicultural sample and its invariance across ages.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11/2011; 53(3):292-303. · 5.42 Impact Factor
  • Robert D Oades
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    ABSTRACT: Intra-individual variability of the characteristics of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) may reflect compromised glial energy supply in the synapse. We reported recently that while serum levels of a glial marker, the cytokine S100B, were not seriously altered, levels of other cytokines and tryptophan metabolites were related to symptoms, attention and variability. Here, we explore with a regression analysis whether levels of these substances were associated with features of the index pregnancy of potential aetiological significance. Serum was taken from 35 children with DSM-IV ADHD (14 on medication) and 21 typically developing controls to measure 8 cytokines (S100B, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IL-16, TNF-α and IFN-γ) and 5 metabolites (Tryptophan, Kynurenine, Kynurenate [KA], 3-hydroxy-kynurenine [3HK] and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid [5-HIAA]). The mothers received a 124-item questionnaire on features surrounding the pregnancy. (1) For children with ADHD, a shorter pregnancy and smaller birth weight were associated statistically with increased 3HK and IFN-γ and for obstetric problems with decreased TNF-α levels. (2) Maternal smoking related to decreasing kynurenine and increasing 3HK and S100B levels in ADHD children. Paternal smoking was associated with increased tryptophan in the controls and increased IL-6 levels in ADHD children. (3) The taking of supplements often related to decreasing TNF-α, increasing IL-10 and lower 5-HIAA levels in the ADHD children. Less 5-HIAA but more tryptophan was associated with earlier and later life events, respectively. (4) Increased IL-16 and 5-HIAA levels in the ADHD group related to reports of poorer infant health. Unexpectedly, more child care (seafood and time together) in ADHD than healthy families was implicated by lower tryptophan levels and an altered balance of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Across measures control families generally showed either non-significant associations or the opposite to those of the ADHD group. In ADHD children more than controls, the balance of potentially toxic or protective kynurenine metabolites and of pro- over anti-inflammatory cytokines may reflect the perinatal experience associated with stress, but not with maternal illness.
    ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 07/2011; 3(4):301-18.
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    ABSTRACT: Impulsive drive for immediate reward (IDIR) and delay aversion are dissociable elements of the preference for immediate over delayed rewards seen in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that IDIR would be associated with dopamine regulating genes and delay aversion would be associated with serotonin-regulating genes. Impulsive drive for immediate reward and delay aversion were measured in 459 male children and adolescents (328 ADHD and 131 unaffected siblings) with a laboratory choice task. The sample was genotyped for the 5HTT (SLC6A4) promoter serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region polymorphism and a DAT1 (SLC6A3) 40-base pair variable number tandem repeat located in the 3'-untranslated region of the gene. There was no effect of dopamine transporter (DAT)1 on IDIR. As predicted, serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region s-allele carriers were more delay averse. This effect was driven by the s/l genotype in the ADHD group. These results were not altered by taking account of the rs25531 A/G single nucleotide polymorphism and were independent of age, IQ, and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms. The results support the genetic distinctiveness of IDIR and delay aversion in ADHD and implicate serotonin function in delay aversion. Possible explanations of the heterosis effect in the ADHD cases are presented.
    Biological psychiatry 04/2011; 70(3):230-6. · 8.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Motor coordination problems are frequent in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We performed a genome-wide association study to identify genes contributing to motor coordination problems, hypothesizing that the presence of such problems in children with ADHD may identify a sample of reduced genetic heterogeneity. Children with ADHD from the International Multicentre ADHD Genetic (IMAGE) study were evaluated with the Parental Account of Children's Symptoms. Genetic association testing was performed in PLINK on 890 probands with genome-wide genotyping data. Bioinformatics enrichment-analysis was performed on highly ranked findings. Further characterization of the findings was conducted in 313 Dutch IMAGE children using the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCD-Q). Although none of the findings reached genome-wide significance, bioinformatics analysis of the top-ranked findings revealed enrichment of genes for motor neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Genes involved in neurite outgrowth and muscle function were also enriched. Among the highest ranked genes were MAP2K5, involved in restless legs syndrome, and CHD6, causing motor coordination problems in mice. Further characterization of these findings using DCD-Q subscales found nominal association for 15 SNPs. Our findings provide clues about the aetiology of motor coordination problems, but replication studies in independent samples are necessary.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 04/2011; 13(3):211-22. · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Twin and sibling studies have identified specific cognitive phenotypes that may mediate the association between genes and the clinical symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is also associated with lower IQ scores. We aimed to investigate whether the familial association between measures of cognitive performance and the clinical diagnosis of ADHD is mediated through shared familial influences with IQ. Multivariate familial models were run on data from 1265 individuals aged 6-18 years, comprising 920 participants from ADHD sibling pairs and 345 control participants. Cognitive assessments included a four-choice reaction time (RT) task, a go/no-go task, a choice-delay task and an IQ assessment. The analyses focused on the cognitive variables of mean RT (MRT), RT variability (RTV), commission errors (CE), omission errors (OE) and choice impulsivity (CI). Significant familial association (rF) was confirmed between cognitive performance and both ADHD (rF=0.41-0.71) and IQ (rF=-0.25 to -0.49). The association between ADHD and cognitive performance was largely independent (80-87%) of any contribution from etiological factors shared with IQ. The exception was for CI, where 49% of the overlap could be accounted for by the familial variance underlying IQ. The aetiological factors underlying lower IQ in ADHD seem to be distinct from those between ADHD and RT/error measures. This suggests that lower IQ does not account for the key cognitive impairments observed in ADHD. The results have implications for molecular genetic studies designed to identify genes involved in ADHD.
    Psychological Medicine 04/2011; 41(4):861-71. · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intelligence is a highly heritable trait for which it has proven difficult to identify the actual genes. In the past decade, five whole-genome linkage scans have suggested genomic regions important to human intelligence; however, so far none of the responsible genes or variants in those regions have been identified. Apart from these regions, a handful of candidate genes have been identified, although most of these are in need of replication. The recent growth in publicly available data sets that contain both whole genome association data and a wealth of phenotypic data, serves as an excellent resource for fine mapping and candidate gene replication. We used the publicly available data of 947 families participating in the International Multi-Centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) study to conduct an in silico fine mapping study of previously associated genomic locations, and to attempt replication of previously reported candidate genes for intelligence. Although this sample was ascertained for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intelligence quotient (IQ) scores were distributed normally. We tested 667 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 15 previously reported candidate genes for intelligence and 29451 SNPs in five genomic loci previously identified through whole genome linkage and association analyses. Significant SNPs were tested in four independent samples (4,357 subjects), one ascertained for ADHD, and three population-based samples. Associations between intelligence and SNPs in the ATXN1 and TRIM31 genes and in three genomic locations showed replicated association, but only in the samples ascertained for ADHD, suggesting that these genetic variants become particularly relevant to IQ on the background of a psychiatric disorder.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 03/2011; 156(2):145-57. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The International Multi-centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) project with 11 participating centres from 7 European countries and Israel has collected a large behavioural and genetic database for present and future research. Behavioural data were collected from 1068 probands with ADHD and 1446 unselected siblings. The aim was to describe and analyse questionnaire data and IQ measures from all probands and siblings. In particular, to investigate the influence of age, gender, family status (proband vs. sibling), informant, and centres on sample homogeneity in psychopathological measures. Conners' Questionnaires, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires, and Wechsler Intelligence Scores were used to describe the phenotype of the sample. Data were analysed by use of robust statistical multi-way procedures. Besides main effects of age, gender, informant, and centre, there were considerable interaction effects on questionnaire data. The larger differences between probands and siblings at home than at school may reflect contrast effects in the parents. Furthermore, there were marked gender by status effects on the ADHD symptom ratings with girls scoring one standard deviation higher than boys in the proband sample but lower than boys in the siblings sample. The multi-centre design is another important source of heterogeneity, particularly in the interaction with the family status. To a large extent the centres differed from each other with regard to differences between proband and sibling scores. When ADHD probands are diagnosed by use of fixed symptom counts, the severity of the disorder in the proband sample may markedly differ between boys and girls and across age, particularly in samples with a large age range. A multi-centre design carries the risk of considerable phenotypic differences between centres and, consequently, of additional heterogeneity of the sample even if standardized diagnostic procedures are used. These possible sources of variance should be counteracted in genetic analyses either by using age and gender adjusted diagnostic procedures and regional normative data or by adjusting for design artefacts by use of covariate statistics, by eliminating outliers, or by other methods suitable for reducing heterogeneity.
    BMC Psychiatry 01/2011; 11:55. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The International Multi-centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) project with 11 participating centres from 7 European countries and Israel has collected a large behavioural and genetic database for present and future research. Behavioural data were collected from 1068 probands with the combined type of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-CT) and 1446 'unselected' siblings. The aim was to analyse the IMAGE sample with respect to demographic features (gender, age, family status, and recruiting centres) and psychopathological characteristics (diagnostic subtype, symptom frequencies, age at symptom detection, and comorbidities). A particular focus was on the effects of the study design and the diagnostic procedure on the homogeneity of the sample in terms of symptom-based behavioural data, and potential consequences for further analyses based on these data. Diagnosis was based on the Parental Account of Childhood Symptoms (PACS) interview and the DSM-IV items of the Conners' teacher questionnaire. Demographics of the full sample and the homogeneity of a subsample (all probands) were analysed by using robust statistical procedures which were adjusted for unequal sample sizes and skewed distributions. These procedures included multi-way analyses based on trimmed means and winsorised variances as well as bootstrapping. Age and proband/sibling ratios differed between participating centres. There was no significant difference in the distribution of gender between centres. There was a significant interaction between age and centre for number of inattentive, but not number of hyperactive symptoms. Higher ADHD symptom frequencies were reported by parents than teachers. The diagnostic symptoms differed from each other in their frequencies. The face-to-face interview was more sensitive than the questionnaire. The differentiation between ADHD-CT probands and unaffected siblings was mainly due to differences in hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. Despite a symptom-based standardized inclusion procedure according to DSM-IV criteria with defined symptom thresholds, centres may differ markedly in probands' ADHD symptom frequencies. Both the diagnostic procedure and the multi-centre design influence the behavioural characteristics of a sample and, thus, may bias statistical analyses, particularly in genetic or neurobehavioral studies.
    BMC Psychiatry 01/2011; 11:54. · 2.23 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
645.03 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
      Pôrto de São Francisco dos Casaes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • Department of Clinical Neuropsychology
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1994–2013
    • University of Duisburg-Essen
      Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2011
    • York University
      • Department of Psychology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Southampton
      • Developmental Brain-Behaviour Laboratory (DBBL)
      Southampton, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • Central Institute of Mental Health
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2007–2010
    • King's College London
      • MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre
      London, ENG, United Kingdom
    • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
      • Department of Neuroscience and Physiology
      Syracuse, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • Universität Mannheim
      Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • Philipps-Universität Marburg
      • Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
  • 2007–2009
    • Trinity College Dublin
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Dublin, L, Ireland
  • 2003
    • Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2001
    • RWTH Aachen University
      • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
      Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany