Evidence for shared genetic influences on self-reported ADHD and autistic symptoms in young adult Australian twins

Angela M. Reiersen, John N. Constantino, Marisa Grimmer, Nicholas G. Martin, Richard D. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent clinic-based and population-based studies have shown evidence of association between ADHD and autistic symptoms in children and adolescents as well as evidence for genetic overlap between these disorders. The objective of the current study was to confirm the association between autistic and ADHD symptoms in a young adult twin sample assessed by self-report, and investigate whether shared genetic and/or environmental factors can explain the association. We performed twin-based structural equation modeling using self-report data from 11 Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) items and 12 DSM-IV ADHD inattentive and impulsive symptom items obtained from 674 young adult Australian twins. Phenotypic correlation between autistic and ADHD symptoms was moderate. The most parsimonious univariate models for SRS and ADHD included additive genetic effects and unique environmental effects, without sex differences. ADHD and autistic traits were both moderately heritable. In a bivariate model, genetic correlation (rg) between SRS and ADHD was 0.72. Our results suggest that in young adults, a substantial proportion of the genetic influences on self-reported autistic and ADHD symptoms may be shared between the two disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Comorbidity
  • Heritability
  • Twin study

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for shared genetic influences on self-reported ADHD and autistic symptoms in young adult Australian twins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this