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Genetic and molecular aspects in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: the search for the genes involved in clinical diagnosis
INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is still today one of the most widely researched medical problems around the world. It is the most common neuropsychiatric diagnosis in school-age children. The fact that it will affect the patient throughout their whole life together with the social and economic impact it has on the individual and on society are clearly acknowledged and are a motive for concern. The clinician who is faced with treating these patients has no doubt that this entity presents in familial groups. This gives rise to obvious difficulties when it comes to establishing therapeutic processes. Although intensive searches for genetic markers have been carried out, methodological problems that arise in the definition of phenotypes, as well as in the selection of genetic techniques and the genes targeted for research, have meant that less progress has been made in these studies than was initially expected. Some of the aspects that have been advancing in recent years include clarification of the clinical phenotype to be studied, the analysis of clinical information to be used for the selection of the genetic sample and agreements about the genes the search is to be focused on. Today several genetic markers that are highly associated with the entity are known.