2 min read

Genetics of Attention

Updated Jul 10, 2016

While the genetics of attention has not been widely studied in normal humans, there have been numerous studies of how genetics influences attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder. Insights on ADHD may inform future research on the genetics of attention in healthy humans.

There are a number of candidate genes that may be involved in ADHD, discovered by GWAS studies. Future research should dive into dissecting out variants at these targets:

  • a copy-number variation (CNV) at PARK21
  • CHMP7, involved in endosomal sorting2,3
  • TNFRSF10D, invovled in preventing apoptosis2,3
  • TNFRSF10A, invovled in transducing cell death signals to start apoptosis2,3
  • LOXL2, invovled in generating connective tissue2,3
  • CDH13, encodes cadherin 13, which may act as a negative regular of nerve cell growth2,3,4,5
  • ASTN2, encodes astrotactin 2, a brain protein invovled in neuron-glia binding in the developing brain3,4,5
  • CTNNA2, encodes catenin alpha 2, which may regulate the stability of synaptic contacts3,4,5
  • KALRN, potentially involved in vesicle tracking in the the same protein for Huntington's (HD)3,4,5,6
  • PRKG13,7
  • FLNC3,7
  • TCERG1L3,7
  • PPM1H3,7
  • NXPH13,7
  • HK13,7
  • HKDC13,7
  • GRM53,8
  • CHRNA73,9
  • XKR43,10
  • FAM190A3,10
  • SLC9A93,11,12
  1. Jarick, I., Volckmar, A. L., Putter, C., Pechlivanis, S., Nguyen, T. T., Dauvermann, M. R., . . . Hinney, A. (2014). Genome-wide analysis of rare copy number variations reveals PARK2 as a candidate gene for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Mol Psychiatry, 19(1), 115-121. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.161

  2. Neale, B. M., Medland, S. E., Ripke, S., Asherson, P., Franke, B., Lesch, K. P., . . . Nelson, S. (2010). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 49(9), 884-897. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2010.06.008

  3. Ashmore, Kathryn, and Feng Cheng. Genome-wide association studies on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology 3.1 (2013): 119."

  4. Franke, B., Neale, B. M., & Faraone, S. V. (2009). Genome-wide association studies in ADHD. Hum Genet, 126(1), 13-50. doi:10.1007/s00439-009-0663-4

  5. Lesch, K. P., Timmesfeld, N., Renner, T. J., Halperin, R., Roser, C., Nguyen, T. T., . . . Jacob, C. (2008). Molecular genetics of adult ADHD: converging evidence from genome-wide association and extended pedigree linkage studies. J Neural Transm (Vienna), 115(11), 1573-1585. doi:10.1007/s00702-008-0119-3

  6. Tsai, Y. C., Metzger, S., Riess, O., Soehn, A. S., & Nguyen, H. P. (2012). Genetic analysis of polymorphisms in the kalirin gene for association with age-at-onset in European Huntington disease patients. BMC Med Genet, 13, 48. doi:10.1186/1471-2350-13-48

  7. Neale, B. M., Medland, S., Ripke, S., Anney, R. J., Asherson, P., Buitelaar, J., . . . Biederman, J. (2010). Case-control genome-wide association study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 49(9), 906-920. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2010.06.007

  8. Hinney, A., Scherag, A., Jarick, I., Albayrak, O., Putter, C., Pechlivanis, S., . . . Hebebrand, J. (2011). Genome-wide association study in German patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet, 156b(8), 888-897. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.31246

  9. Stergiakouli, E., Hamshere, M., Holmans, P., Langley, K., Zaharieva, I., Hawi, Z., . . . Thapar, A. (2012). Investigating the contribution of common genetic variants to the risk and pathogenesis of ADHD. Am J Psychiatry, 169(2), 186-194. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.11040551

  10. Neale, B. M., Lasky-Su, J., Anney, R., Franke, B., Zhou, K., Maller, J. B., . . . Faraone, S. V. (2008). Genome-wide association scan of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet, 147b(8), 1337-1344. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.30866

  11. Lasky-Su, J., Anney, R. J., Neale, B. M., Franke, B., Zhou, K., Maller, J. B., . . . Faraone, S. V. (2008). Genome-wide association scan of the time to onset of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet, 147b(8), 1355-1358. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.30869

  12. Mick, E., Todorov, A., Smalley, S., Hu, X., Loo, S., Todd, R. D., . . . Faraone, S. V. (2010). Family-based genome-wide association scan of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 49(9), 898-905.e893. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2010.02.014

Editor's Choice
Emails worth reading.

Once a week, we'll send you the most compelling research, stories and updates from the world of human enhancement.

H.V.M.N. Co-founders Michael Brandt and Geoffrey Woo

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

© 2020 HVMN Inc. All Rights Reserved. H.V.M.N.®, Health Via Modern Nutrition™, Nootrobox®, Rise™, Sprint®, Yawn®, Kado™, and GO Cubes® are registered trademarks of HVMN Inc. ΔG® is a trademark of TΔS® and used under exclusive license by HVMN Inc.

H.V.M.N.
38 Mason St, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102
Email us: care@hvmn.com

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

© 2020 HVMN Inc. All Rights Reserved. H.V.M.N.®, Health Via Modern Nutrition™, Nootrobox®, Rise™, Sprint®, Yawn®, Kado™, and GO Cubes® are registered trademarks of HVMN Inc. ΔG® is a trademark of TΔS® and used under exclusive license by HVMN Inc.