Genome-wide copy number variation analysis in adult attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder

Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Cristina Sánchez-Mora, Miguel Casas, Iris Garcia-Martínez, Rosa Bosch, Mariana Nogueira, Montse Corrales, Gloria Palomar, Raquel Vidal, Mireia Coll-Tané, Mònica Bayés, Bru Cormand, Marta Ribasés

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric disorder with a worldwide prevalence of 5-6% in children and 4.4% in adults. Recently, copy number variations (CNVs) have been implicated in different neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD. Based on these previous reports that focused on pediatric cohorts, we hypothesize that structural variants may also contribute to adult ADHD and that such genomic variation may be enriched for CNVs previously identified in children with ADHD. To address this issue, we performed for the first time a whole-genome CNV study on 400 adults with ADHD and 526 screened controls. In agreement with recent reports in children with ADHD or in other psychiatric disorders, we identified a significant excess of insertions in ADHD patients compared to controls. The overall rate of CNVs >100kb was 1.33 times higher in ADHD subjects than in controls (p=2.4e-03), an observation mainly driven by a higher proportion of small events (from 100kb to 500kb; 1.35-fold; p=1.3e-03). These differences remained significant when we considered CNVs that overlap genes or when structural variants spanning candidate genes for psychiatric disorders were evaluated, with duplications showing the greatest difference (1.41-fold, p=0.024 and 2.85-fold, p=8.5e-03, respectively). However, no significant enrichment was detected in our ADHD cohort for childhood ADHD-associated CNVs, CNVs previously identified in at least one ADHD patient or CNVs previously implicated in autism or schizophrenia. In conclusion, our study provides tentative evidence for a higher rate of CNVs in adults with ADHD compared to controls and contributes to the growing list of structural variants potentially involved in the etiology of the disease. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Copy number variation (CNV)
  • Schizophrenia


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