[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Despite growing awareness of adult ADHD and its comorbidity with personality disorders (PDs), little is known about sex- and subtype-related differences. Method: In all, 910 patients (452 females, 458 males) affected with persistent adult ADHD were assessed for comorbid PDs with the Structured Clinical Interview of DSM-IV and for personality traits with the revised NEO personality inventory, and the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire. Results: The most prevalent PDs were narcissistic PD in males and histrionic PD in females. Affected females showed higher Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, and Agreeableness scores as well as Harm Avoidance and Reward Dependence scores. Narcissistic PD and antisocial PD have the highest prevalence in the H-type, while Borderline PD is more frequent in the C-type. Conclusion: Sex- and subtype-related differences in Axis II disorder comorbidity as well as impairment-modifying personality traits have to be taken into account in epidemiological studies of persistent ADHD. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX).
Journal of Attention Disorders 02/2014; · 2.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Findings from molecular genetic studies and analyses of postmortem and peripheral tissue led to the hypothesis that neurotrophins-as crucial moderators of neuroplasticity-impact on the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study projects aimed to complement former results on the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family with fundamental impact on brain development and function. The purpose of this work was to investigate peripheral BDNF mRNA expression and BDNF protein concentrations in ASD as potential surrogates for the effects observed in the central nervous system. In a BDNF protein quantification study, serum concentrations were analyzed using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays in 24 male patients with ASD, all with an IQ > 70 (age 13.9 ± 3.0 years) and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects (age 14.4 ± 2.1 years; p = 0.522). In a further independent project, a BDNF mRNA expression analysis, mRNA levels from total blood were assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in a sample of 16 male ASD patients (age 10.8 ± 2.2), 15 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (age 12.1 ± 2.2) and 15 patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a clinical control group (age 11.8 ± 2.2; p = 0.207). In the protein quantification project, significantly decreased BDNF serum concentrations were found in ASD cases compared to healthy control children (t = -2.123, df = 42, p < 0.05). Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed this result in accordance with significant reductions in BDNF mRNA expression in ASD, observed in the mRNA expression study (F = 3.65; df = 2.43; p < 0.05); neither age nor IQ confounded the result, as indicated by ANCOVA (F = 3.961; df = 2.41; p < 0.05, η (2) = 0.162). Our study projects supported the notion that neurotrophins are involved in the pathophysiology of ASD. Further studies may eventually contribute to the identification of distinct peripheral mRNA expression and protein concentration patterns possibly supporting diagnostic and therapeutic processes.
Journal of Neural Transmission 02/2014; · 3.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives. This study investigates an overall autonomic hypoactivity reflecting hypoarousal as important aetiological factor in ADHD at baseline during rest and in response towards stimuli. In addition, effects of methylphenidate (MPH) are examined. We further assessed whether this hypoarousal is a stable characteristic or ameliorated by arousing emotional stimuli. Methods. Boys with ADHD were examined with (n = 35) or without MPH (n = 45) and compared with healthy boys (n = 22) regarding skin conductance level (SCL) during rest and skin conductance responses (SCRs) as well as valence and arousal ratings in response to positive, neutral, and negative pictures. Results. ADHD children without MPH were characterized by reduced baseline SCL and overall reduced SCRs. ADHD children with MPH never differed from control children. All groups displayed normal valence and arousal ratings of the stimuli and enhanced SCRs to emotional in comparison to neutral pictures. Conclusions. This is the first study to unravel (1) a general autonomic hypoactivity in ADHD children at baseline and in response to low arousing neutral and highly arousing emotional stimuli, and (2) hints that MPH normalizes this hypoactivity. Results contribute to the understanding of ADHD aetiology and MPH functionality, and are consistent with the cognitive-energetic model of ADHD.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 01/2014; 15(1):56-65. · 3.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A deficit in emotion recognition has been suggested to underlie conduct problems. Although several studies have been conducted on this topic so far, most concentrated on male participants. The aim of the current study was to compare recognition of morphed emotional faces in girls with conduct problems (CP) with elevated or low callous-unemotional (CU+ vs. CU-) traits and a matched healthy developing control group (CG). Sixteen girls with CP-CU+, 16 girls with CP-CU- and 32 controls (mean age: 13.23 years, SD = 2.33 years) were included. Video clips with morphed faces were presented in two runs to assess emotion recognition. Multivariate analysis of variance with the factors group and run was performed. Girls with CP-CU- needed more time than the CG to encode sad, fearful, and happy faces and they correctly identified sadness less often. Girls with CP-CU+ outperformed the other groups in the identification of fear. Learning effects throughout runs were the same for all groups except that girls with CP-CU- correctly identified fear less often in the second run compared to the first run. Results need to be replicated with comparable tasks, which might result in subgroup-specific therapeutic recommendations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to investigate associations between severity of behavior problems, specific symptom domains with healthcare use and costs in school-aged children. A cross-sectional study using data from the 10-year follow-up of two population-based birth cohorts was conducted on four rural and urban communities in Germany. There were 3,579 participants [1,834 boys (51%), 1,745 girls (49%)] on average aged 10.4 years. The severity levels (normal, at risk, abnormal) and symptom domains of behavioral problems were assessed by parent-reported strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).The outcomes were medical use categories (physicians, therapists, hospital, and rehabilitation), medical costs categories and total direct medical use and costs (calculated from parent-reported utilization of healthcare services during the last 12 months). Total direct medical costs showed a graded relationship with severity level (adjusted p < 0.0001). Average annual cost difference in total direct medical costs between at risk and normal total difficulties was Euro ( ) 271 (SD 858), and 1,237 (SD 2,528) between abnormal and normal total difficulties. A significant increase in physician costs showed between children with normal and at risk total difficulties (1.30), and between normal and abnormal total difficulties (1.29; p < 0.0001). Between specific symptom domains, children with emotional symptoms showed highest costs for physicians, psychotherapist, and hospitalization as well as total direct medical costs. Children with hyperactivity/inattention showed highest costs for therapists and emergency room costs. Healthcare use and costs are related to the severity of child behavior problems. In general, children's costs for psychotherapy treatments have been low relative to general medical treatments which may indicate that some children with behavioral problems did not get appropriate care. To some degree, medical conditions may be attributable to some of the high hospitalization costs found in children with emotional symptom.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 12/2013; · 3.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bipolar disorder (BD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may share common genetic risk factors as indicated by the high co-morbidity of BD and ADHD, their phenotypic overlap especially in pediatric populations, the high heritability of both disorders, and the co-occurrence in families. We therefore examined whether known polygenic BD risk alleles are associated with ADHD. We chose the eight best SNPs of the recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BD patients of German ancestry and the nine SNPs from international GWAS meeting a 'genome-wide significance' level of α = 5 × 10(-8). A GWAS was performed in 495 ADHD children and 1,300 population-based controls using HumanHap550v3 and Human660 W-Quadv1 BeadArrays. We found no significant association of childhood ADHD with single BD risk alleles surviving adjustment for multiple testing. Yet, risk alleles for BD and ADHD were directionally consistent at eight of nine loci with the strongest support for three SNPs in or near NCAN, BRE, and LMAN2L. The polygene analysis for the BP risk alleles at all 14 loci indicated a higher probability of being a BD risk allele carrier in the ADHD cases as compared to the controls. At a moderate power to detect association with ADHD, if true effects were close to estimates from GWAS for BD, our results suggest that the possible contribution of BD risk variants to childhood ADHD risk is considerably lower than for BD. Yet, our findings should encourage researchers to search for common genetic risk factors in BD and childhood ADHD in future studies.
Journal of Neural Transmission 05/2013; · 3.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with alterations in iron metabolism, and low ferritin concentrations in peripheral blood have inconsistently been reported in clinically referred samples of children with ADHD. This study examined whether higher peripheral concentrations of ferritin, the major iron storage protein, are associated with decreased symptoms of ADHD in 2,805 children aged 10 years participating in two large population-based birth cohorts (GINIplus and LISAplus). Whether high ferritin concentrations at age 4 months predict lower ADHD symptoms at age 10 years was also investigated using a longitudinal approach in a subsample of 193 children. No indications for an association between peripheral ferritin concentrations and ADHD symptoms were found in this large population-based study. Re-evaluating iron substitution as a therapeutic measure for ADHD may be warranted.
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 04/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Leptin is thought to act as an important mediator in stress reactions. To date, no study has examined the association between psychological stress and leptin levels in children. This study aimed to assess the association between emotional symptoms and peer problems and serum leptin levels in children aged 10 years of the two population-based GINI-plus and LISA-plus birth cohorts. Method Cross-sectional data from 2827 children aged 10 years were assessed with regard to leptin concentrations in serum and behavioral problems using the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Linear regression modeling was applied to determine the likelihood of elevated leptin levels in children with emotional symptoms and peer problems, controlling for socio-economic status (SES), body mass index (BMI), fasting serum leptin levels, pubertal development and sex hormones. RESULTS: We found that increases in emotional symptoms (exp β adj = 1.03, s.e. = 0.02, p < 0.04) and peer problems (exp β adj = 1.05, s.e. = 0.01, p = 0.0001) were significantly associated with higher serum leptin levels controlled for BMI and sociodemographic factors. Similar results were found when the fasting serum leptin sample was examined (exp β adj = 1.08, s.e. = 0.04, p = 0.0294). Gender-stratified analyses showed a significant relationship between serum leptin and peer problems in girls (exp β adj = 1.05, s.e. = 0.02, p = 0.03), and a borderline significant association in boys (exp β adj = 1.04, s.e. = 0.02, p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Children with peer problems have higher stress and eat more, acquire a higher body fat mass and thus, through increased leptin resistance, exhibit higher leptin levels.
Psychological Medicine 04/2013; · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are impaired in social adaptation and display deficits in social competence. Deficient emotion recognition has been discussed to underlie these social problems. However, comorbid conduct problems have not been considered in the majority of studies conducted so far, and the influence of medication on emotion recognition has rarely been studied. Here, emotion recognition performance was assessed in children with ADHD without medication compared with children with ADHD under stimulant medication and a matched control group. In order to rule out confounding by externalizing symptoms, children with comorbid conduct problems were excluded. Video clips with neutral faces developing a basic emotion (happiness, sadness, disgust, fear and anger) were presented in order to assess emotion recognition. Results indicated between-group differences neither concerning the number of correctly identified emotions nor concerning reaction times and their standard deviations. Thus, we suggest that ADHD per se is not associated with deficits in emotion recognition.
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders 03/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are frequent paediatric conditions with high medical relevance. A possible relationship between atopic diseases (i.e., AD, asthma, and allergic rhinitis) has long been discussed, but convincing evidence is still missing. Methods: We investigated the relationship between AD and ADHD in two cross-sectional studies and in two birth cohort studies considering lifestyle factors, environmental factors, and atopic comorbidities as potential confounders. To quantify the strength of association between AD and ADHD, data from the four epidemiologic studies were summarized by means of a meta-analysis. Odds ratios (OR) were pooled for the association between prevalent or previous AD and prevalent ADHD from the four studies adjusted for age, sex, and atopic comorbidity (allergic rhinitis, asthma). Results: The epidemiologic studies conducted consistently indicate an association between AD and ADHD which is independent of environmental exposures and other comorbidities. Particularly infant AD appears to be associated with later development of ADHD symptoms. Sleeping problems due to AD are suggested as playing an important role for the observed association between AD and ADHD. The pooled OR (95 % confidence interval (95 %CI)) for the association between AD and ADHD was 1.43 (1.25-1.64). Discussion: Four new epidemiologic studies consistently indicate a positive association between AD and ADHD. Compared to children without AD, children with previous or prevalent AD have an approximately 43 % increased risk to be diagnosed with ADHD or to display clinical ADHD symptoms. Following our findings, the biological mechanisms underlying the observed comorbidity between AD and ADHD require further investigation in order to subsequently develop targeted therapeutic and preventive strategies.
Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie 01/2013; 41(1):35-44. · 0.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. Genetic loci have not yet been identified by genome-wide association studies. Rare copy number variations (CNVs), such as chromosomal deletions or duplications, have been implicated in ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. To identify rare (frequency 1%) CNVs that increase the risk of ADHD, we performed a whole-genome CNV analysis based on 489 young ADHD patients and 1285 adult population-based controls and identified one significantly associated CNV region. In tests for a global burden of large (>500 kb) rare CNVs, we observed a nonsignificant (P=0.271) 1.126-fold enriched rate of subjects carrying at least one such CNV in the group of ADHD cases. Locus-specific tests of association were used to assess if there were more rare CNVs in cases compared with controls. Detected CNVs, which were significantly enriched in the ADHD group, were validated by quantitative (q)PCR. Findings were replicated in an independent sample of 386 young patients with ADHD and 781 young population-based healthy controls. We identified rare CNVs within the parkinson protein 2 gene (PARK2) with a significantly higher prevalence in ADHD patients than in controls (P=2.8 × 10(-4) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In total, the PARK2 locus (chr 6: 162 659 756-162 767 019) harboured three deletions and nine duplications in the ADHD patients and two deletions and two duplications in the controls. By qPCR analysis, we validated 11 of the 12 CNVs in ADHD patients (P=1.2 × 10(-3) after empirical correction for genome-wide testing). In the replication sample, CNVs at the PARK2 locus were found in four additional ADHD patients and one additional control (P=4.3 × 10(-2)). Our results suggest that copy number variants at the PARK2 locus contribute to the genetic susceptibility of ADHD. Mutations and CNVs in PARK2 are known to be associated with Parkinson disease.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 November 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.161.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological data indicate that atopic eczema (AE) in infancy significantly increases the risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in later life. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of this comorbidity are unknown. We propose that the release of inflammatory cytokines caused by the allergic inflammation and/or elevated levels of psychological stress as a result of the chronic disease interfere with the maturation of prefrontal cortex regions and neurotransmitter systems involved ADHD pathology. Alternatively, increased stress levels in ADHD patients may trigger AE via neuroimmunological mechanisms. In a third model, AE and ADHD may be viewed as two separate disorders with one or more shared risk factors (e.g., genetics, prenatal stress) that increase the susceptibility for both disorders leading to the co-occurrence of AE and ADHD. Future investigation of these three models may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the observed comorbidity between AE and ADHD and further, to targeted interdisciplinary primary prevention and treatment strategies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided a large set of genetic loci influencing the risk for many common diseases. Association studies typically analyze one specific trait in single populations in an isolated fashion without taking into account the potential phenotypic and genetic correlation between traits. However, GWA data can be efficiently used to identify overlapping loci with analogous or contrasting effects on different diseases. RESULTS: Here, we describe a new approach to systematically prioritize and interpret available GWA data. We focus on the analysis of joint and disjoint genetic determinants across diseases. Using network analysis, we show that variant-based approaches are superior to locus-based analyses. In addition, we provide a prioritization of disease loci based on network properties and discuss the roles of hub loci across several diseases. We demonstrate that, in general, agonistic associations appear to reflect current disease classifications, and present the potential use of effect sizes in refining and revising these agonistic signals. We further identify potential branching points in disease etiologies based on antagonistic variants and describe plausible small-scale models of the underlying molecular switches. CONCLUSIONS: The observation that a surprisingly high fraction (>15%) of the SNPs considered in our study are associated both agonistically and antagonistically with related as well as unrelated disorders indicates that the molecular mechanisms influencing causes and progress of human diseases are in part interrelated. Genetic overlaps between two diseases also suggest the importance of the affected entities in the specific pathogenic pathways and should be investigated further.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder in children with striking persistence into adulthood and a high co-morbidity with other psychiatric disorders, including personality disorders (PD). The 4p15.31 region was shown to be associated with ADHD in several genome wide association studies (GWAS). In the present study we also report association of the 4p15.31 locus with Cluster B and Cluster C PD as identified by a pooled genome-wide association study in 400 individuals suffering from PD. The gene coding for the Kv channel-interacting protein 4 (KCNIP4) is located in this region. KCNIP4 is an interaction partner of presenilin and plays a role in a negative feedback loop in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Thus, we reasoned it to be a promising candidate gene for ADHD as well as for PD. To clarify the role of KCNIP4 in those disorders, we conducted candidate gene based association studies in 594 patients suffering from adult ADHD and 630 PD patients as compared to 974 healthy control individuals. In the adult ADHD sample, six single markers and one haplotype block revealed to be associated with disease (p values from 0.0079 to 0.049). Seven markers within the KCNIP4 gene showed an association with PD (p values from 0.0043 to 0.0437). The results of these studies suggest a role of KCNIP4 in the etiology of ADHD, PD and other co-morbid disorders.
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2012; · 3.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is substantial evidence that olfactory function may serve as biomarker in adult neuropsychiatric disorders, e.g. overall diminished olfaction in Parkinson's disease as parameter for early pre-motor and differential diagnosis. Here, we present data from a systematic literature review in olfactory function in child and adolescent psychiatric disorders and report two unpublished data sets of autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The overall number of olfaction studies is low-even after taking into account adult samples. In addition, heterogeneity of findings is high due to methodological limitations such as the use of different olfactory tests and odours targeting the olfactory and/or the trigeminal system and neglecting possible confounders, e.g., intelligence or oto-rhino-laryngological affections. Despite these limitations, there is some indication for specific alterations of olfactory function especially in disorders with dopaminergic pathology (e.g. attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, schizophrenia, 22q11 deletion syndrome). Dopamine is a relevant modulator of early processes in the olfactory bulb. Our systematic review provides the basis for future confirmatory studies investigating olfaction as putative biomarker in child and adolescent psychiatric disorders. We further propose studies of thorough and elaborate methodological standards in combination with imaging techniques and the investigation of the influence of genetic variation on olfactory function.
Journal of Neural Transmission 07/2012; · 3.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychiatric "nosology" is largely based on clinical phenomenology using convention-based diagnostic systems not necessarily reflecting neurobiological pathomechanisms. While progress has been made regarding its molecular biology and neuropathology, the phenotypic characterization of ADHD has not improved. Thus, validated biomarkers, more directly linked to the underlying pathology, could constitute an objective measure for the condition.
The task force on biological markers of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and the World Federation of ADHD commissioned this paper to develop a consensus report on potential biomarkers of ADHD. The criteria for biomarker-candidate evaluation were: (1) sensitivity >80%, (2) specificity >80%, (3) the candidate is reliable, reproducible, inexpensive, non-invasive, easy to use, and (4) confirmed by at least two independent studies in peer-reviewed journals conducted by qualified investigators.
No reliable ADHD biomarker has been described to date, but some promising candidates (e.g., olfactory sensitivity, substantial echogenicity) exist. A problem in the development of ADHD markers is sample heterogeneity due to aetiological and phenotypic complexity and age-dependent co-morbidities.
Most likely, no single ADHD biomarker can be identified. However, the use of a combination of markers may help to reduce heterogeneity and to identify homogeneous subtypes of ADHD.
The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 07/2012; 13(5):379-400. · 3.57 Impact Factor