Do ADHD-Impulsivity and BMI have shared polygenic and neural correlates?

Edward Barker, Alex James Ing, Francesca Biondo, Tianye Jia, Jean-Baptiste Pingault, Ebba Eva Charlotte Du Rietz, Yuning Zhang, Barbara Ruggeri, Tobias Banaschewski, Sarah Hohmann, Arun Lw Bokde, Uli Bromberg, Christian Büchel, Erin Burke Quinlan, Edmund James Barke, April B. Bowling , Sylvane Desrivieres, Herta Flor, Vincent Frouin, Hugh GaravanPenny Gowland, Andreas Heinz, Bernd Ittermann, Jean-Luc Martinot, Marie Laure Paillère Martinot, Frauke Nees, Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Luise Poustka, Michael N. Smolka, Nora C. Vetter, Henrik Walter, Robert Whelan, Gunter Schumann, Philip Asherson

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There is an extensive body of literature linking ADHD to overweight and obesity. Research indicates that impulsivity features of ADHD account for a degree of this overlap. The neural and polygenic correlates of this association have not been thoroughly examined. In participants of the IMAGEN study, we found that impulsivity symptoms and body mass index (BMI) were associated (r = 0.10, n = 874, p = 0.014 FWE corrected), as were their respective polygenic risk scores (PRS) (r = 0.17, n = 874, p = 6.5x10-6 FWE corrected). We then examined whether the phenotypes of impulsivity and BMI, and the PRS scores of ADHD and BMI, shared common associations with whole-brain grey matter and the Monetary Incentive Delay fMRI task, which associates with reward-related impulsivity. A sparse partial least squared analysis (sPLS) revealed a shared neural substrate that associated with both the phenotypes and PRS scores. In a last step, we conducted a bias corrected bootstrapped mediation analysis with the neural substrate score from the sPLS as the mediator. The ADHD PRS associated with impulsivity symptoms (b = 0.06, 90% CIs = 0.001, 0.019) and BMI (b = 0.09, 90% CIs = 0.001, 0.023) via the neuroimaging phenotype. The BMI PRS associated with BMI (b = 0.014, 95% CIs = 0.003, 0.033) and impulsivity symptoms (b = 0.09, 90% CIs = 0.003, 0.022) via the neuroimaging substrate. A common neural substrate may (in part) underpin shared genetic liability for ADHD and BMI and the manifestation of their (observable) phenotypic association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number0
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2019


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