Dopamine genes and ADHD

J. M. Swanson*, Pamela Flodman, James Kennedy, M. Anne Spence, Robert Moyzis, Sabrina Schuck, Michael Andrew Murias, Joan Moriarity, Cathy Barr, Moyra Smith, Michael Posner

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    300 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Family, twin, and adoption studies have documented a strong genetic basis for ADHD/HKD, but these studies do not identify specific genes linked to the disorder. Molecular genetic studies can identify allelic variations of specific genes that are functionally associated with ADHD/HKD, and dopamine genes have been the initial candidates based on the site of action of the stimulants drugs, which for a half century have provided the primary pharmacological treatment for ADHD/HKD. Two candidate dopamine genes have been investigated and reported to be associated with ADHD/HKD: the dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene [Cook et al., American Journal of Human Genetics 1995;56:993-998, Gill et al., Molecular Psychiatry 1997;2:311-313] and the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene [LaHoste et al., Molecular Psychiatry 1996;1:121-124; Smalley et al., 1998;3:427-430; Swanson et al., Molecular Psychiatry 1998;3:38-41]. Speculative hypotheses [Swanson and Castellanos, NIH Consensus Development Conference: Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, November 1998. p. 37-42] have suggested that specific alleles of these dopamine genes may alter dopamine transmission in the neural networks implicated in ADHD/HKD (e.g. that the 10-repeat allele of the DAT1 gene may be associated with hyperactive re-uptake of dopamine or that the 7-repeat allele of the DRD4 gene may be associated with a subsensitive postsynaptic receptor). These and other variants of the dopamine hypothesis of ADHD will be discussed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)21-25
    Number of pages5
    JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
    Volume24
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2000

    Keywords

    • ADHD
    • Alleles
    • Dopamine genes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Behavioral Neuroscience

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