Attention Deficit Disorders Could Stem from Impaired Brain Coordination

Posted on May 14, 2018

People with attention deficits have difficulty focusing and often display compulsive behavior. The new study suggests these symptoms could be due to dysfunction in a gene, ErbB4, that helps different brain regions communicate. The gene is a known risk factor for psychiatric disorders, and is required to maintain healthy neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

The study is the first to connect ErbB4 to top-down attention (a form of attention that is goal-oriented, and related to focus), where people who lack efficient top-down attention are at a higher risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since ErbB4 is a risk factor for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, the results provide insights into mechanisms of these disorders.

The study also had findings that showed the importance to synchrony between the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in top-down attention and opens up the possibility that attention deficit disorders, like ADHD, might involve impairments in the synchrony between these two regions, which coordinate a variety of brain tasks, including memory and attention.

In future, researchers plan to study how ErbB4 may coordinate brain activities, in an effort to learn more about mechanisms behind attention deficit disorders.

Category(s):Adult ADHD, Schizophrenia

Source material from Science Daily

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