ADHD: Increased dopamine receptor availability linked to attention deficit and low neonatal cerebral blood flow

Hans C. Lou, Pedro Rosa, Ole Pryds, Hanne Karrebæk, Jytte Lunding, Paul Cumming, Albert Gjedde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Attention-deficit -hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while largely thought to be a genetic disorder, has environmental factors that appear to contribute significantly to the aetiopathogenesis of the disorder. One such factor is pretern birth with vulnerable cerebrovascular homeostasis. We hypothesised that cerebral ischaemia at birth could contribute to persistent deficient dopaminergic neurotransmission, which is thought to be the pathophysiological basis of the disorder. We examined dopamine D2/3 receptor binding with positron emission tomography (PET) using [11C] raclopride as a tracer, and continuous reaction times (RT) with a computerized test of variables (TOVA) in six adolescents (12-14 years of age, one female) who had been examined with cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements at preterm birth and had a subsequent history of attention deficit. We found that high dopamine receptor availability ('empty receptors') was linked with increased RT and RT variability, supporting the concept of a dopaminergic role in symptomatology. High dopamine receptor availability was predicted by low neonatal CBF, supporting the hypothesis of cerebral ischaemia as a contributing factor in infants susceptible to ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopmental medicine and child neurology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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