Substance use disorder (SUD) often co-occur at high prevalence with other psychiatric conditions. Among them, attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is present in almost one out of every four subjects with SUD and is associated with higher severity, more frequent polysubstance dependence and increased risk for other mental health problems in SUD patients. Despite studies suggesting a genetic basis in the co-occurrence of these two conditions, the genetic factors involved in the joint development of both disorders and the mechanisms mediating these causal relationships are still unknown. In this study, we tested whether the genetic liability to five SUD-related phenotypes share a common background in the general population and clinically diagnosed ADHD individuals from an in-house sample of 989 subjects and further explored the genetic overlap and the causal relationship between ADHD and SUD using pre-existing GWAS datasets. Our results confirm a common genetic background between ADHD and SUD and support the current literature on the causal effect of the liability to ADHD on the risk for SUD. We added novel findings on the effect of the liability of lifetime cannabis use on ADHD and found evidence of shared genetic background underlying SUD in general population and in ADHD, at least for lifetime cannabis use, alcohol dependence and smoking initiation. These findings are in agreement with the high comorbidity observed between ADHD and SUD and highlight the need to control for substance use in ADHD and to screen for ADHD comorbidity in all SUD patients to provide optimal clinical interventions.
Genetic overlap and causality between substance use disorder and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder
Laura Vilar-Ribó, Cristina Sánchez-Mora, Paula Rovira, Vanesa Richarte, Montserrat Corrales, Christian Fadeuilhe, Lorena Arribas, Miquel Casas, Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Marta Ribasés, María Soler Artigas
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics