(HealthDay News) – A genetic marker previously identified as associated with smoking may also be associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Geeta A. Thakur, from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues performed family-based association tests on 454 children (aged 6–12 years) with ADHD to investigate five top single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in different genes and loci that are highly associated with different dimensions of smoking behavior in relation to ADHD.

The researchers found that one SNP (rs1329650) from a non-coding RNA (LOC100188947) correlated significantly with overall ADHD diagnosis, with the C* risk allele being significantly over-transmitted from parents to children with ADHD. Significant over-transmission of the SNP was also noted for children with higher scores on the Conners’ Global Index for parents and teachers as well as on the Child Behaviour Checklist of withdrawn and aggressive behaviors. The risk allele was also more likely to be inherited by children with poorer performances on executive and attention tasks.

“In conclusion, we present preliminary evidence indicating that rs1329650 increases the risk for ADHD and we suggest a neuropsychological and behavioral mechanism that could underlie the link between this genetic risk locus, ADHD, and smoking,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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