While attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is well-studied in children, 2.5-5% of the global adult population also has ADHD—and that population has a higher rate of binge eating disorders and alcohol dependence.
Four Studies on Heredity Factors in ADHD:
That’s why researchers in Sweden recently set out to examine whether this correlation is more hereditary or environmental, and to do it, they turned to the Swedish Twin Registry. Researchers examined four studies encompassing more than 18,000 twin pairs aged between 20 and 46, including both identical twins, who are genetically identical, and fraternal twins, who are no more genetically similar than any other pair of siblings.
What they found was that environmental factors had little to do with an ADHD patient’s chances of developing binge eating or alcohol dependence—instead, common heredity susceptibility for both disorders seemed responsible.
Building the Best Early-Stage ADHD Clinical Trials
ADHD research design for early-stage clinical trials must acknowledge this correlation between dependency disorders, substance-abuse behaviors, and ADHD. When screening patients—especially for small-population Phase 1 trials—both their own history of substance abuse and their family’s history must be fully examined so that the most appropriate candidates can be selected for the trial. With all we now know, it’s clear that an ADHD patient with a family history of alcohol dependence presents a very different case than one without.
A Window of Opportunity for ADHD Clinical Trials Design
This new report also shines a spotlight on a window of opportunity for neuroscience clinical trials: If we can treat ADHD early on, we can prevent dependency disorders from developing later in adulthood.
Worldwide Clinical Trials has been conducting neuroscience clinical trials for more than 30 years, and we look forward to investigating new discoveries that improve ADHD treatment, while also addressing substance abuse issues.