Lectures and seminars

MEB-seminar: Joanna Martin

2014-11-0615:30 to 16:30 Lecture hall Wargentin, Nobels väg 12ACampus Solna

Guest speaker: Joanna Martin, Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University

Title: Childhood neurodevelopmental disorders: genetic risk factors and sex differences

Abstract: Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are highly heritable. Recent studies demonstrate the involvement of hundreds of genetic risk variants, across a spectrum of frequencies, for ADHD and ASD. It is well known that neurodevelopmental disorders are more commonly diagnosed in males than females but the reasons for this difference in prevalence are unknown. The threshold liability model of disease suggests that females may require a higher burden of genetic risk factors to manifest these problems (known as the female protective effect). Several recent family and genetic studies support this hypothesis. However, there is some conflicting evidence, sample sizes of molecular genetic studies have been relatively small and there are alternative hypotheses which may contribute to this sex difference. The evidence for the female protective effect will be reviewed in this seminar. This will be followed by considering several alternative hypotheses for the observed sex differences in neurodevelopmental disorders. Lastly, planned future work to further investigate this issue using data from a clinical ADHD population sample and the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS) will be outlined. 

Contact person: Paul Lichtenstein