Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neuropsychological and dimensional behavioral trait profiles in Costa Rican ADHD sib pairs: Potential intermediate phenotypes for genetic studies.

  • Author(s): Peskin, Viviana A
  • Ordóñez, Anna
  • Mackin, R Scott
  • Delucchi, Kevin
  • Monge, Silvia
  • McGough, James J
  • Chavira, Denise A
  • Berrocal, Monica
  • Cheung, Erika
  • Fournier, Eduardo
  • Badner, Judith A
  • Herrera, Luis Diego
  • Mathews, Carol A
  • et al.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with substantial functional impairment in children and in adults. Many individuals with ADHD have clear neurocognitive deficits, including problems with visual attention, processing speed, and set shifting. ADHD is etiologically complex, and although genetic factors play a role in its development, much of the genetic contribution to ADHD remains unidentified. We conducted clinical and neuropsychological assessments of 294 individuals (269 with ADHD) from 163 families (48 multigenerational families created using genealogical reconstruction, 78 affected sib pair families, and 37 trios) from the Central Valley of Costa Rica (CVCR). We used principal components analysis (PCA) to group neurocognitive and behavioral variables using the subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and 15 neuropsychological measures, and created quantitative traits for heritability analyses. We identified seven cognitive and two behavioral domains. Individuals with ADHD were significantly more impaired than their unaffected siblings on most behavioral and cognitive domains. The verbal IQ domain had the highest heritability (92%), followed by auditory attention (87%), visual processing speed and problem solving (85%), and externalizing symptoms (81%). The quantitative traits identified here have high heritabilities, similar to the reported heritability of ADHD (70-90%), and may represent appropriate alternative phenotypes for genetic studies. The use of multigenerational families from a genetically isolated population may facilitate the identification of ADHD risk genes in the face of phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View