Molecular Genetics of INATTENTION in Australia
Study Code:IA
Sample:5,500 Individuals (parents, children age >=7)
Start Date:Jan.2006
Status:In progress
Contact:Anjali Henders
More Info:QIMR only


BACKGROUND

Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is defined in DSM-IV as a prevalent syndrome with onset in early childhood characterized by problems with attention span, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. The disorder is associated with academic, peer relationships and family dysfunction. The current DSM nomenclature considers 9 inattentive, 6 hyperactive and 3 impulsive symptoms and requires impairment in two or more settings (school, peers or home). Cases may be categorized as primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive/ impulsive or combined subtypes. Epidemiological studies estimate that the prevalence of ADHD is between 3 and 9 percent and affects boys more commonly than girls. In addition to the academic and social problems associated with the diagnosis of ADHD, ADHD has also been associated with increases in injuries, visits to emergency rooms, traffic violations and alcohol and drug use/abuse. ADHD may also account for the social and behavioral dysfunction attributed to other disorders such as Tourette's syndrome. Since the turn of the last century ADHD has been recognized to "run" in families and to be associated with other familial problems such as alcoholism and antisocial behavior. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of multiple, genetically independent forms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which would be best studied individually. The prevalence of ADHD and its pervasive influence on academic/employment and social/family functioning make it a significant public health problem.

The long-term aim of this study is the identification of genetic elements which predispose to the development and course of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).