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Researchers Find Mutation in the Same Genes for Autism and ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and autism share changes in the same genes, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The study, funded by the Aarhus University, Copenhagen University, and the Lundbeck Foundation, focused on the exome sequences of about 8,000 children with autism and ADHD, and 5,000 participants without either condition. According to the researchers, the gene that is most commonly affected by mutations in people with ADHD or autism is the so-called MAP1A gene. “The gene is involved in the formation of the physical structure of nerve cells – their ‘inner skeleton,’ so to speak- and is important for the development of the brain,” Anders Børglum, the study’s lead researcher, said.

Berglum said he and his colleagues “discovered an increased burden of mutations that destroy or severely affect the MAP1A gene in those with ADHD and autism, while very few of the control subjects had such changes in the gene.” Berglum observed that the mutations being found in the same genes and to the same extent in children with ADHD and autism suggests that the same biological mechanisms are involved. “This is the first time that the genome has been mapped so comprehensively for both ADHD and autism,” he said, “and the discovery that children with ADHD have the same amount of deleterious gene mutations in their DNA as children with autism is both striking and quite surprising.” Source:


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