Genes for enjoying speed protective against ADHD and schizophrenia

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A euphoric response to amphetamine could signal the presence of gene variants associated with protection against attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. Published April 7 in PNAS, a team led by Abraham Palmer from the University of Chicago reported having found that DNA differences associated with amphetamine response are also correlated with a reduced risk for both conditions.

The results link two disorders that are treated in opposing ways: people with schizophrenia are often given drugs to block dopamine signaling, while those with ADHD are typically given drugs that imitate dopamine. So identifying a common feature between them is “interesting and somewhat surprising,” Philip Asherson, a molecular psychiatrist at King’s College London, told The Scientist in an e-mail. Asherson, who was not involved in the study, called the results convincing: “to have these findings by chance does seem unlikely,” he said.

Read the full, original story: Liking Amphetamine Linked to Reduced Risk of Mental Disorders

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