Journal Article


Ian H Robertson
Michael Gill
Aiveen Kirley
Ziarah Hawi
Mark A. Bellgrove



minisatellite repeats physiopathology female space perception genetic predisposition to disease genetics male functional laterality risk factors physiology attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity dopamine plasma membrane transport proteins slc6a3 protein human humans adolescent attention child analysis of variance reaction time phenotype

Dissecting the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) phenotype: sustained attention, response variability and spatial attentional asymmetries in relation to dopamine transporter (DAT1) genotype. (2004)

Abstract ADHD is a childhood-onset behavioural disorder with a heterogeneous profile of neuropsychological impairment. Neuropsychological heterogeneity may, in part, reflect underlying genetic differences. Here we examined sustained attention, response variability and spatial attentional asymmetries in a sample of children and adolescents with ADHD (n=22) in relation to dopamine transporter genotype (DAT1) and also controls (n=20). Participants performed the sustained attention to response task (SART) (testing sustained attention and response variability) and the greyscales task (a perceptual measure of attentional bias). The latter has previously been shown to yield a robust leftward attentional asymmetry in healthy subjects. The 10-repeat allele of the DAT1 gene has been associated with ADHD in a number of studies and appears to have biological significance. The ADHD group was sub-divided into those individuals with two copies of the "high-risk" 10-repeat allele (high-risk DAT1) versus those with one or no copies of this allele (low-risk DAT1). The high-risk DAT1 ADHD group displayed greater response variability on the SART than either the low-risk DAT1 group or healthy controls, whereas the latter two groups did not differ. Further, the high-risk DAT1 group showed an attenuated spatial asymmetry, relative to the low-risk DAT1 ADHD group, who showed the typical leftward attentional asymmetry. Our results suggest that the 10-repeat DAT1 allele may mediate neuropsychological impairment in ADHD. The application of molecular genetics may help to define neuropsychological impaired subgroups of ADHD.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Ian H Robertson, Michael Gill, Aiveen Kirley, Ziarah Hawi, Mark A. Bellgrove

Experts in our system

Ian H Robertson
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 162
Michael Gill
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 294
Mark A. Bellgrove
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 39