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 ADHD Gene Complicates Brain Networking

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 17, 2010

Neuroscientists believe new research using brain scans show a gene linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also associated with mind-wandering during mental tasks.

Georgetown University researchers say the gene leads to increased interference between brain regions.

Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, these researchers believe their findings are the first to show, through brain scanning, the differences in brain network relationships between individuals with this particular form of gene and others with a different form.

“Our goal is to narrow down the function of candidate genes associated with ADHD, and in this study, we find this gene is tied to competition between brain networks,” said the study’s lead author, Evan Gordon, a doctoral candidate in neuroscience.

This competition could lead to increased inattention, Gordon said, but it likely has nothing to do with hyperactivity. “This is just one gene, and it does not cause ADHD but likely contributes to it. The disorder is believed to be due to a myriad of genetic factors,” he said.

The gene in question is DAT1; its protein produces the dopamine transporter that helps regulate dopamine transmission between brain cells. The DAT1 gene comes in two alleles, or forms – DAT1 10 and DAT1 9.

People who inherit two 10 alleles (10/10) are said to be at greater risk for developing ADHD than people who inherit 10/9 alleles.

Rarely does someone inherit two 9 alleles, according to Gordon; he said, in fact, that the 10 allele is slightly more common than the 9 allele.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/11/17/gene-tied-to-adhd-jams-brain-networks/20989.html



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