Advances in genetic studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2009 Apr;11(2):143-8. doi: 10.1007/s11920-009-0022-0.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common childhood-onset psychiatric disorders. Although family, twin, and adoption studies demonstrate that ADHD is a highly heritable condition, studies also suggest that genetic architecture is complex, prompting the use of more advanced methodologies such as genome-wide linkage and association studies. Although such studies are theoretically compelling, replication of these results has been inconsistent. Meta-analyses have produced more reliable results, but the associations identified to date account for only a small percentage of the genetic component of ADHD. Approaches such as neuroimaging genetics and epigenetic studies are being explored to probe further the etiologic complexity of this disorder.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genome
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Minisatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B / genetics
  • Receptors, Dopamine D4 / genetics
  • Receptors, Dopamine D5 / genetics
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Social Environment
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25 / genetics


  • DRD4 protein, human
  • DRD5 protein, human
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • HTR1B protein, human
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1B
  • SLC6A3 protein, human
  • SNAP25 protein, human
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25
  • Receptors, Dopamine D4
  • Receptors, Dopamine D5