Elizabeth McLaughlin
University of New Hampshire at Manchester

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in the world. In children, the prevalence of ADHD can range from 2% to 10% (Lee et. al 2014). The most common onset of ADHD is childhood and the disorder can cause behavioral problems through adolescence and adulthood.

ADHD is more common in children with parents who also have it, and it is even more common in siblings. There are many genes that are thought to be in connection with the cause of ADHD, based on studies done on family members, including twins, of people with ADHD (Faraone, S. V., Mick, E. 2010). The gene that has the strongest association with ADHD is dopamine receptor d4, or DRD4 (Tovo-Rodrigues, L. et al. 2013). The polymorphism (or variation) of this gene that has been studied the most in connection with ADHD is a variable number tandem repeat that is located on the third exon of the gene. Variable tandem repeats can vary from individual to individual.

This image is from the Google public domain.
This image is from the Google public domain.

Signs and Symptom
The signs and symptoms of ADHD can include:
  • difficulty staying focused
  • difficulty paying attention
  • difficulty controlling behavior
  • hyperactivity
  • impulsive behavior

Research Questions
Can other species have ADHD based on mutations in the DRD4 gene?
What are some treatments for ADHD and how do they work?

Primary Research
Data Analysis