Exploring the Contribution to ADHD of Genes Involved in Mendelian Disorders Presenting with Hyperactivity and/or Inattention

Noèlia Fernàndez-Castillo*, Judit Cabana-Domínguez*, Djenifer B Kappel, Bàrbara Torrico, Heike Weber, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Oscar Lao, Andreas Reif, Bru Cormand

*Corresponding author for this work

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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention, which are symptoms also observed in many rare genetic disorders. We searched for genes involved in Mendelian disorders presenting with ADHD symptoms in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database, to curate a list of new candidate risk genes for ADHD. We explored the enrichment of functions and pathways in this gene list, and tested whether rare or common variants in these genes are associated with ADHD or with its comorbidities. We identified 139 genes, causal for 137 rare disorders, mainly related to neurodevelopmental and brain function. Most of these Mendelian disorders also present with other psychiatric traits that are often comorbid with ADHD. Using whole exome sequencing (WES) data from 668 ADHD cases, we found rare variants associated with the dimension of the severity of inattention symptoms in three genes: KIF11, WAC, and CRBN. Then, we focused on common variants and identified six genes associated with ADHD (in 19,099 cases and 34,194 controls): MANBA, UQCC2, HIVEP2, FOPX1, KANSL1, and AUH. Furthermore, HIVEP2, FOXP1, and KANSL1 were nominally associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (18,382 cases and 27,969 controls), as well as HIVEP2 with anxiety (7016 cases and 14,475 controls), and FOXP1 with aggression (18,988 individuals), which is in line with the symptomatology of the rare disorders they are responsible for. In conclusion, inspecting Mendelian disorders and the genes responsible for them constitutes a valuable approach for identifying new risk genes and the mechanisms of complex disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • ADHD
  • rare mendelian disorders
  • genetic variants

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