• Brain Correlates of the Interaction Between5-HTTLPRand Psychosocial Stress Mediating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Severity

      van der Meer, Dennis; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Zwiers, Marcel; Mennes, Maarten; Schweren, Lizanne J.; Franke, Barbara; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Faraone, Stephen V.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; et al. (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2015-08)
      Objective: The serotonin transporter 5-HTTLPR genotype has been found to moderate the effect of stress on severity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with stronger effects of stress in carriers of the short allele than in individuals homozygous for the long allele. The underlying neurobiological mechanism of this gene-environment interaction in ADHD is unknown. The authors aimed to determine whether 5-HTTLPR moderates the effect of stress on brain gray matter volume and, if so, which brain regions mediate the effect of this gene-environment interaction on ADHD severity. Method: Structural MRI, 5-HTTLPR genotype, and stress exposure questionnaire data were available for 701 adolescents and young adults participating in the multicenter ADHD cohort NeuroIMAGE study (from 385 families; 291 with ADHD, 78 with subthreshold ADHD, 332 healthy comparison subjects; 55.8% male; average age: 17.0 years). ADHD symptom count was determined through multi-informant questionnaires. For the analysis, a whole-brain voxel-based morphometry approach was combined with mediation analysis. Results: Stress exposure was associated with significantly less gray matter volume in the precentral gyrus, middle and superior frontal gyri, frontal pole, and cingulate gyrus in S-allele carriers compared with participants homozygous for the L-allele. The association of this gene-environment interaction with ADHD symptom count was mediated by gray matter volume in the frontal pole and anterior cingulate gyrus. Conclusions: 5-HTTLPR genotype moderates the effect of stress on brain regions involved in social cognitive processing and cognitive control. Specifically, regions important for cognitive control link this gene-environment interaction to ADHD severity.
    • Consortium neuroscience of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: The ENIGMA adventure

      Hoogman, Martine; Rooij, Daan; Klein, Marieke; Boedhoe, Premika; Ilioska, Iva; Li, Ting; Patel, Yash; Postema, Merel C.; Zhang‐James, Yanli; Anagnostou, Evdokia; et al. (Wiley, 2020-05-18)
      Neuroimaging has been extensively used to study brain structure and function in individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decades. Two of the main shortcomings of the neuroimaging literature of these disorders are the small sample sizes employed and the heterogeneity of methods used. In 2013 and 2014, the ENIGMA-ADHD and ENIGMA-ASD working groups were respectively, founded with a common goal to address these limitations. Here, we provide a narrative review of the thus far completed and still ongoing projects of these working groups. Due to an implicitly hierarchical psychiatric diagnostic classification system, the fields of ADHD and ASD have developed largely in isolation, despite the considerable overlap in the occurrence of the disorders. The collaboration between the ENIGMA-ADHD and -ASD working groups seeks to bring the neuroimaging efforts of the two disorders closer together. The outcomes of case–control studies of subcortical and cortical structures showed that subcortical volumes are similarly affected in ASD and ADHD, albeit with small effect sizes. Cortical analyses identified unique differences in each disorder, but also considerable overlap between the two, specifically in cortical thickness. Ongoing work is examining alternative research questions, such as brain laterality, prediction of case–control status, and anatomical heterogeneity. In brief, great strides have been made toward fulfilling the aims of the ENIGMA collaborations, while new ideas and follow-up analyses continue that include more imaging modalities (diffusion MRI and resting-state functional MRI), collaborations with other large databases, and samples with dual diagnoses.
    • The dopamine receptor D4 7-repeat allele influences neurocognitive functioning, but this effect is moderated by age and ADHD status: An exploratory study

      Altink, Marieke E.; Rommelse, Nanda N.J.; Slaats-Willemse, Dorine I.E.; Väsquez, Alejandro Arias; Franke, Barbara; Buschgens, Cathelijne J.M.; Fliers, Ellen A.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Sergeant, Joseph A.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; et al. (Informa UK Limited, 2011-11-23)
      Objectives. Evidence suggests the involvement of the dopamine D4 receptor gene ( DRD4 ) in the pathogenesis of ADHD, but the exact mechanism is not well understood. Earlier reports on the effects of DRD4 polymorphisms on neurocognitive and neuroimaging measures are inconsistent. This study investigated the functional consequences of the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 on neurocognitive endophenotypes of ADHD in the Dutch subsample of the International Multicenter ADHD Genetics study. Methods. Participants were 350 children (5 – 11.5 years) and adolescents (11.6 – 19 years) with ADHD and their 195 non-affected siblings. An overall measure of neuropsychological functioning was derived by principal component analysis from five neurocognitive and five motor tasks. The effects of DRD4 and age were examined using Linear Mixed Model analyses. Results. The analyses were stratified for affected and non-affected participants after finding a significant three-way interaction between ADHD status, age and the 7-repeat allele. Apart from a main effect of age, a significant interaction effect of age and DRD4 was found in non-affected but not in affected participants, with non-affected adolescent carriers of the 7-repeat allele showing worse neuropsychological performance. In addition, carrying the 7-repeat allele of DRD4 was related to a significantly worse performance on verbal working memory in non-affected siblings, independent of age. Conclusions. These results might indicate that the effect of the DRD4 7-repeat allele on neuropsychological functioning is dependent on age and ADHD status.