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Dopamine transporter 3'UTR VNTR genotype is a marker of performance on executive function tasks in children with ADHD

Author(s): Karama Sherif | Grizenko Natalie | Sonuga-Barke Edmund | Doyle Alysa | Biederman Joseph | Mbekou Valentin | Polotskaia Anna | Ter-Stepanian Marina | De Guzman Rosherrie | Bellingham Johanne | Sengupta Sarojini | Joober Ridha

Journal: BMC Psychiatry
ISSN 1471-244X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a heterogeneous disorder from both clinical and pathogenic viewpoints. Executive function deficits are considered among the most important pathogenic pathways leading to ADHD and may index part of the heterogeneity in this disorder. Methods To investigate the relationship between the dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3) 3'-UTR VNTR genotypes and executive function in children with ADHD, 196 children diagnosed with ADHD were sequentially recruited, genotyped, and tested using a battery of three neuropsychological tests aimed at assessing the different aspects of executive functioning. Results Taking into account a correction for multiple comparisons, the main finding of this study is a significant genotype effect on performances on the Tower of London (F = 6.902, p = 0.009) and on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III) Freedom From Distractibility Index (F = 7.125, p = 0.008), as well as strong trends on Self Ordered Pointing Task error scores (F = 4,996 p = 0.026) and WISC-III Digit Span performance (F = 6.28, p = 0.023). Children with the 9/10 genotype exhibited, on average, a poorer performance on all four measures compared to children with the 10/10 genotype. No effect of genotype on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test measures of performance was detected. Conclusion Results are compatible with the view that SLC6A3 genotype may modulate components of executive function performance in children with ADHD.
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