Skip to main content
* NOTE: Terms of Service Updated 21 Feb 2018

Common Genetic Influences for ADHD and Reading Disability

  • Published: 2010-12-08 : Elsevier.
  • Synopsis: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and developmental reading disability (RD) are complex childhood disorders that frequently occur together.

Main Document

A new twin-study has found that their co-occurrence may be linked to slow processing speed.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and developmental reading disability (RD) are complex childhood disorders that frequently occur together; if a child is experiencing trouble with reading, symptoms of ADHD are often also present. However, the reason for this correlation remains unknown. A new study reported in the latest special issue of Cortex (www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00109452), dedicated to "Developmental Dyslexia and Dysgraphia", has suggested that the disorders have common genetic influences, which may also lead to slow processing speed - the brain taking longer to make sense of the information it receives.

The researchers looked at 457 pairs of twins from the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center (CLDRC) twin study - an ongoing study of the causes of reading disabilities, ADHD, and related disorders. Dr Erik Willcutt and colleagues compared groups of participants with and without RD and ADHD, using a variety of tests to measure general cognitive ability, processing speed, reading and language skills, and then analyzed results from pairs of twins within those groups to determine the genetic causes of any correlations. The use of identical twins, who share all their genes, and non-identical twins, who share only half their genes, allowed the researchers to distinguish between genetic and environmental influences on the participants' cognitive abilities.

The findings showed that both RD and ADHD are complex disorders, influenced by many factors; ADHD on its own was associated with a reduced ability to inhibit responses to stimuli, while reading disabilities were associated with various weaknesses in language and memory. However, both disorders were associated with a slow processing speed and the twin-analyses further revealed a significant genetic correlation between RD and ADHD, i.e., a participant with one of the disorders was more likely to show symptoms of the other. The authors of the study suggest that processing efficiency may therefore be a useful marker to look for in future studies of the connection between the two disorders.

About Cortex - Cortex is an international journal devoted to the study of cognition and of the relationship between the nervous system and mental processes, particularly as these are reflected in the behavior of patients with acquired brain lesions, normal volunteers, children with typical and atypical development, and in the activation of brain regions and systems as recorded by functional neuroimaging techniques. It was founded in 1964 by Ennio De Renzi. The Editor in-chief of Cortex is Sergio Della Sala, Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Fax: 0131 6513230, e-mail: cortex@ed.ac.uk. Cortex is available online at www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00109452

About Elsevier - Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including the Lancet (www.thelancet.com) and Cell (www.cell.com), and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com), Scopus (www.scopus.com), Reaxys (www.reaxys.com), MD Consult (www.mdconsult.com) and Nursing Consult (www.nursingconsult.com), which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite (www.scival.com) and MEDai's Pinpoint Review (www.medai.com), which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier (www.elsevier.com) employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Similar Topics

1 : What Can Twitter Reveal About People with ADHD : University of Pennsylvania.
2 : Can Adults Develop ADHD? : Florida International University.
3 : School Year Relative Age Causing Bias in ADHD Diagnosis : University of Nottingham.
4 : Is ADHD Associated with Lack of Regular Circadian Sleep : European College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
5 : Harnessing ADHD for Business Success Study : Technical University of Munich (TUM).
From our ADHD and ADD section - Full List (51 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Early Childhood Education Needs to be Accessible and Affordable
2 : How the Human Brain Can Tell Our Arms and Legs Apart
3 : Protein Levels in Spinal Fluid Correlate to Posture and Gait Difficulty in Parkinson's Disease
4 : Palliative Care Findings on Caregiver Depression, LGBT Partners, Moral Distress

Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.