Association of the 480 bp DAT1 allele with methylphenidate response in a sample of Irish children with ADHD

Aiveen Kirley, Naomi Lowe, Ziarih Hawi, Celine Mullins, Grainne Daly, Irwin Waldman, Mary McCarron, Deirdre O'Donnell, Michael Fitzgerald, Michael Gill

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Several studies have implicated the dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) as conferring susceptibility to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in particular, a VNTR situated at the 3′ end of the gene. In addition, the 10-repeat VNTR allele associated with ADHD has been reported to be associated with an over-active transporter protein (DAT). Thus children possessing this variant might be particularly responsive to methylphenidate, a drug known to act by blocking DAT. We have examined this hypothesis and now report an association between the 10-repeat VNTR DAT1 polymorphism and retrospectively rated methylphenidate response in a sample of 119 Irish children with ADHD (ξ2 = 7.918, df = 1, P = 0.005). Our findings suggest a role for the 10-repeat DAT1 risk allele in medication response and may help to predict positive clinical outcome in ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume121 B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Dopamine transporter gene (DAT1)
  • Drug response
  • Methylphenidate
  • Transmission disequilibrium test (TDT)

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