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Study Suggests Genotype Does Not Predict Response to Medication
Researchers found methylphenidate effective for children with ADHD, regardless of COMT enzyme variant.
Thursday June 26th - 4:20pm
A study published online this week in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, has suggested that a variation of a gene linked to ADHD does not determine the effectiveness of methylphenidate in treating symptoms.
Catechol-O-methyltransferace (COMT) helps regulate the levels of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This enzyme has long been associated with ADHD symptoms.
Dr. Ridha Joober of McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, both in Montreal, led the present study which looked at differences in task-oriented behavior and response to methylphenidate in children diagnosed with ADHD and who had different genotypes and variants of COMT.
The children's behavior was assessed through a one-way mirror while they completed a math assignment in a simulated classroom. All children participated in a placebo and medicated phase of the study.
The researchers found that there was a significant improvement in task-oriented behavior during the medication phase of the study, and that there was a difference in behavior between the different genotypes. However, there was no difference in how the different genotypes responded to the methylphenidate; all children showed improvement on medication.
The study suggests that genotype does not predict the effectiveness of medication, a disappointment for physicians and researchers hoping to make it easier to find the best treatment for children with ADHD.
For more information, read the full article in Neuropsychopharmacology.