Dopamine system genes and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A meta-analysis

Brion S. Maher, Mary L. Marazita, Robert E. Ferrell, Michael M. Vanyukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dopamine system may play a major role in the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We applied a random-effects model meta-analysis to family-based studies of association between ADHD and the dopamine system genes DRD4, DRD5 and DAT1. A statistical test of heterogeneity was conducted for each group of studies. The meta-analysis of DRD4 included data from 13 studies, with a total of 571 informative meioses. The pooled odds ratio estimate was 1.41 (95% CI 1.20-1.64, P = 1.57 × 10-5), demonstrating positive association. For DRD5, data from five studies, with a total of 340 informative meioses, were combined yielding a pooled odds ratio of 1.57 (95% CI 1.25-1.96, P = 8.28 × 10-5). Eleven studies examining DAT1, with a total of 824 informative meioses, yielded a non-significant pooled odds ratio estimate of 1.27 (95% CI 0.99-1.63, P = 0.06). There was no support of heterogeneity between the studies. Overall, the meta-analyses support the involvement of the dopamine system genes in ADHD liability variation and suggest the need for studies examining interactions between these genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ADHD
  • DAT1
  • DRD4
  • DRD5
  • Meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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