Reagents and Methods for Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most prevalent disorder of early childhood. It affects an estimated 3-6% of elementary school children. ADHD consists of developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity with early onset (before the age of 7).
Evidence of a strong genetic component of ADHD has come from a variety of twin, adoption, and family studies. Candidate gene studies have documented an association of ADHD with the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene due to an increase in the 7 repeat (7R) allele of 48 base-pair variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) sequence that produces a coding region (exon 3) polymorphism.
Technology: University of California Researchers have identified a strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the 7R-allele of the DRD4 gene and surrounding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in population samples and samples of individuals diagnosed with ADHD. By using PCR-based resequencing, researchers have identified markers within this large LD block that can be used to specify the presence or absence of DRD4 7R-allele, which may be of use in the diagnosis of one genetic form of ADHD.
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