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Keywords:

  • ADHD;
  • DRD5;
  • age at onset;
  • family-based association;
  • PBAT;
  • candidate gene

Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within candidate genes for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are associated with the age at onset for ADHD. One hundred and forty-three SNPs were genotyped across five candidate genes (DRD5, SLC6A3, HTR1B, SNAP25, DRD4) for ADHD in 229 families with at least one affected offspring. SNPs with the highest estimated power to detect an association with age at onset were selected for each candidate gene, using a power-based screening procedure that does not compromise the nominal significance level. A time-to-onset analysis for family-based samples was performed on these SNPs to determine if an association exists with age at onset for ADHD. Seven consecutive SNPs surrounding the D5 dopamine receptor gene (DRD5), were associated with the age at onset for ADHD; FDR adjusted q-values ranged from 0.008 to 0.023. This analysis indicates that individuals with the risk genotype develop ADHD earlier than individuals with any other genotype. A haplotype analysis across the 6 significant SNPs that were in linkage disequilibrium with one another, CTCATA, was also found to be significant (p-value = 0.02). We did not observe significant associations with age at onset for the other candidate loci tested. Although definitive conclusions await independent replication, these results suggest that a variant in DRD5 may affect age at onset for ADHD.