OBJECTIVE: Sensory Gating deficits are a common and well described endophenotype in schizophrenia patients. Abnormalities of prefrontal cortical function are discussed in line with deficits in attentional control associated with genetic risk. Multiple susceptibility genes which may impact on molecular mechanisms of prefrontal function have been examined, such like COMT-Val158Met-polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which accounts for a 4-fold variation in enzyme activity and dopamine catabolism. Homozygous Val-allel-carriers seem to have the lowest dopamine levels.
METHOD: Main issue of this study was to examine the electrophysiological phenomenon of sensory gating in a group of adult ADHD-patients (n = 23) and a similar group of normal healthy controls (n = 25) with a combined 21-channel-EEG-ERP-recording and the measure of the P50-double-click-paradigm. A second part of the study was to reveal the impact of COMT-Val158Met-polymorphism on sensory gating with hypothetical highest gating-quotients in homozygous val-allel-carriers with the (relative) lowest dopamine levels.
RESULTS: In ADHD-patients a deficit in P50-sensory gating with higher gating-quotients was described. Healthy controls showed a normal P50-suppression confirming normal capacity of inhibitory prefrontal networks, underlined in the LORETA-analysis as well. In ADHD-patients no impact of COMT-polymorphism on sensory gating was seen though in healthy controls. Homozygous healthy Val-allel-carriers showed the highest gating quotients compared to Val/Met- or Met/Met-allel-carriers. Nicotine had no effects on sensory gating in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: Sensory Gating deficits in ADHD-patients have to be taken into account as a possible endophenotype in the attention-deficit-hyperactive-disorder. If there is a strong impact of COMT-Val158Met-polymorphism on sensory gating even in ADHD affected persons, has to be evaluated in future studies. More research in major groups is needed to proof these findings.
|Advisor:||Fallgatter , Andreas J|
|School:||Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-Universitaet Wuerzburg (Germany)|
|Source:||DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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