Association of a monoamine oxidase-a gene promoter polymorphism with ADHD and anxiety in boys with autism spectrum disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Jan;39(1):67-74. doi: 10.1007/s10803-008-0600-8. Epub 2008 Jun 20.


The aim of the present study was to examine the association between a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the MAO-A gene and severity of ADHD and anxiety in boys with ASD. Parents and teachers completed a DSM-IV-referenced rating scale for 5- to 14-year-old boys with ASD (n = 43). Planned comparisons indicated that children with the 4- versus 3-repeat allele had significantly (p < 05) more severe parent-rated ADHD inattention and impulsivity, and more severe teacher-rated symptoms of generalized anxiety. Our results support a growing body of research indicating that concomitant behavioral disturbances in children with ASD warrant consideration as clinical phenotypes, but replication with independent samples is necessary to confirm this preliminary finding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alleles*
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / genetics*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / genetics
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Male
  • Minisatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*


  • Monoamine Oxidase