Genome-wide scan of reading ability in affected sibling pairs with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: unique and shared genetic effects

Mol Psychiatry. 2004 May;9(5):485-93. doi: 10.1038/


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading disability (RD) are common highly heritable disorders of childhood, which frequently co-occur. Data from twin and family studies suggest that this overlap is, in part, due to shared genetic underpinnings. Here, we report the first genome-wide linkage analysis of measures of reading ability in children with ADHD, using a sample of 233 affected sibling pairs who previously participated in a genome-wide scan for susceptibility loci in ADHD. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of a composite reading factor defined from three highly correlated reading measures identified suggestive linkage (multipoint maximum lod score, MLS>2.2) in four chromosomal regions. Two regions (16p, 17q) overlap those implicated by our previous genome-wide scan for ADHD in the same sample: one region (2p) provides replication for an RD susceptibility locus, and one region (10q) falls approximately 35 cM from a modestly highlighted region in an independent genome-wide scan of siblings with ADHD. Investigation of an individual reading measure of Reading Recognition supported linkage to putative RD susceptibility regions on chromosome 8p (MLS=2.4) and 15q (MLS=1.38). Thus, the data support the existence of genetic factors that have pleiotropic effects on ADHD and reading ability--as suggested by shared linkages on 16p, 17q and possibly 10q--but also those that appear to be unique to reading--as indicated by linkages on 2p, 8p and 15q that coincide with those previously found in studies of RD. Our study also suggests that reading measures may represent useful phenotypes in ADHD research. The eventual identification of genes underlying these unique and shared linkages may increase our understanding of ADHD, RD and the relationship between the two.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics
  • Comorbidity
  • Computer Simulation
  • Dyslexia / epidemiology
  • Dyslexia / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Reading*
  • Siblings