Highlights of 3 studies find that novel genetic variants for ADHD are linked to educational attainment; the prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnoses has not increased recently; and a video game-like intervention targets cognitive processes implicated in ADHD.
Highlights of 3 studies explore novel genetic variants for ADHD, the prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnoses, and video game interventions.
Five novel genetic variants associated with ADHD have been identified by exploiting the genetic overlap between ADHD and educational attainment. Data from a genome-wide association study on 3000 ADHD patients and educational attainment in more than 300,000 individuals identified 5 ADHD-associated loci, with 3 of the 5 loci overlapping between ADHD and educational attainment. A pronounced negative genetic correlation between ADHD and educational attainment supports a shared genetic basis between these phenotypes.
Source for Study 1: Shadrin AA, Smeland OB, Zayats T, et al. Novel Loci Associated With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Are Revealed by Leveraging Polygenic Overlap With Educational Attainment. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2018;57:86-95.
Many, but not all, children with ADHD are receiving treatment that appears to be generally consistent with clinical recommendations. An updated epidemiological profile of ADHD diagnosis and treatment among noninstitutionalized children age 2 to 17 years in the US used data from a newly redesigned national survey collected in 2016. The results show approximately 6.1 million children and adolescents in the US have ever received an ADHD diagnosis from a health care provider and 5.4 million children and adolescents who currently have ADHD. About two-thirds of those with ADHD (62%) were currently taking medication to treat the disorder, and slightly less than half (46.7%) had received behavioral treatment for ADHD during the previous 12 months.
Source for Study 2: Danielson ML, Bitsko RH, Ghandour RM, et al. Prevalence of Parent-Reported ADHD Diagnosis and Associated Treatment Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2016. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2018;47:199-212.
A novel digital treatment on a high-quality action, video game-like interface may improve attention, working memory, and inhibition in children with ADHD. In a study of 40 children with ADHD and 40 children without ADHD, the participants were instructed to use the intervention at home for approximately 30–45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks. Significant improvements were observed on a computerized attention task for the ADHD group and a highly impaired ADHD High Severity subgroup. There was no change for the non-ADHD group. Spatial working memory also improved for the ADHD group and the ADHD High Severity subgroup.
Source for Study 3: Davis NO, Bower J, Kollins SH. Proof-of-concept study of an at-home, engaging, digital intervention for pediatric ADHD. PLoS One. 2018;13:e0189749.