Vol. 3, No. 3, 1997 Page 4

Research Briefs:


A new study supports earlier research (see related article, Crime Times, Vol. 1, No. 4, Page 5) pointing to a strong genetic influence on hyperactivity. D. K. Sherman et al., studying 576 twin boys between the ages of 11 and 12, say their data support "a substantial contribution of genetic factors in the expression of inattention and impulsivity-hyp p p peractivity and smaller contributions of shared and nonshared environmental factors."


In a research review, D. E. Comings analyzes current genetic findings and concludes that the data "support the concept that many disruptive childhood and adolescent behavioral disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome e e e, learning disabilities, substance abuse, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, are part of a spectrum of inter-related behaviors that have a strong genetic component, are polygenically inherited [that is, involve several different genes], share a number of genes in common that affect dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters, and are transmitted from both parents." In addition, Comings says, there is evidence that the genes involved in these disorders may be increasing in frequency.< < <


R. J. Cadoret et al. investigated genetic influences on drug abuse and dependency in females. Studying 102 women adopted at birth, the researchers report that "drug abuse/dependency was found... to have a major pathway of genetic etiology that started wit t t th a biologic parent with antisocial personality and led to an adoptee with conduct disorder and then through aggressivity to drug abuse/dependency, as well as from conduct disorder directly to drug abuse."


"Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder dimensions: a twin study of inattention and impulsivity-hyperactivity," D. K. Sherman et al., J. of the Am. Acad. of Child and Adol. Psychiatry, Vol. 36, No. 6, June 1997, pp. 745-753.


"Genetic aspects of childhood behavioral disorders," D. E. Comings, Child Psychiatry and Human Development, Vol. 27, No. 3, 1997, pp. 139-150.


"An adoption study of drug abuse/dependency in females," R. J. Cadoret et al., Compr. Psychiatry, Vol. 37, No. 2, March 1996, pp. 88-94.

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