Association of the Dopamine Receptor D4 (DRD4) gene 7-repeat allele with children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): An update
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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