Association study of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and LIN-7 homolog (LIN-7) genes with adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric disorder with a large genetic component that has been shown to persist into adulthood in 30-60% of childhood ADHD cases. Adult ADHD confers an increased risk of ADHD in relatives when compared to childhood ADHD, possibly due to a greater genetic liability than the childhood form. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin expressed in the brain throughout life and is involved in survival, differentiation, and synaptic plasticity of several neuronal systems including dopaminergic pathways. Mammalian LIN-7 homolog is selectively expressed in specific neuronal populations and is involved in the postsynaptic density of neuronal synapses. LIN-7 is also a positional candidate, as it lies immediately downstream of BDNF. We tested for association between five BDNF polymorphisms, two LIN-7 polymorphisms and adult ADHD. The sample consisted of 80 trios comprised of an adult ADHD proband and their biological parents and an independent sample of 121 adult ADHD cases and a corresponding number of sex, age, and ethnically matched controls (total 201 probands). Allelic and haplotype association was found between both BDNF and adult ADHD, and LIN-7 and adult ADHD. HapMap indicates BDNF and LIN-7 occur in different haplotype blocks, though some linkage disequilibrium exists between the SNPs in these adjacent genes. Further investigations into the pathologic mechanisms of BDNF and LIN-7 in adult ADHD are required.
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