Objective: To investigate whether a deficient response inhibition is a cognitive endophenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The authors hypothesized that nonaffected siblings of ADHD probands would have a response inhibition between that of ADHD probands and normal controls, although they resembled the controls at a behavioral level. Method: Participants were 25 ADHD probands with a family history of ADHD, their nonaffected siblings (n = 25), and 48 normal controls matched for age and IQ. All participants were between 6 and 17 years of age. The nonaffected siblings were compared with their ADHD siblings and with controls on measures reflecting different types of response inhibition. Results: The nonaffected siblings had results similar to those of the ADHD probands, who differed from the controls on all inhibition measures (p < .05). Conclusions: Siblings of ADHD probands, while not behaviorally expressing the disorder, have ADHD-associated deficits in response inhibition. This suggests that subtyping based on measures of response inhibition can help identify genetic susceptibility to ADHD. Children with a genetic vulnerability to ADHD may have hidden cognitive deficits in the absence of manifest behavioral symptoms. Therefore, they should be monitored to detect possible learning problems.
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|