B3590 - Early signs and predictors of ADHD A population cohort study - 11/08/2020

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Esther Tobarra-Sanchez | Cardiff University (United Kingdom)
Dr Anita Thapar, Clinical Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , Kate Langley, Senior Lecturer in Cardiff School of Psychology
Title of project: 
Early signs and predictors of ADHD. A population cohort study.
Proposal summary: 

Attention deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disabling neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 5% of the population. There is emerging evidence that early detection and intervention improves neurodevelopmental disorders outcomes. This knowledge, coupled with clear evidence that the first signs and symptoms of developmental disorders may be evident for many children by 30 months of age, has led to increased early detection efforts. However, it is still uncertain how best to identify the very first signs of these disorders. For example, early speech, motor delay or global developmental delay, birth and neonatal complications may index future neurodevelopmental disorders. Investigations using prospective designs may be especially fruitful because they are less affected by retrospective recall biases.
In this project I propose to utilise data from a large, prospective population-based cohort, ALSPAC. The aim is to test the hypothesis that early developmental difficulties in the first year of life precede ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders emergence by ages 7 to 9 years.
This work will represent a step towards earlier detection of ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders prior to the onset of behavioural symptoms.

Impact of research: 
The findings of this study may bring more clarity towards a long-held suspicion that early differences underscore the multifaceted nature of ADHD. We aim to identify genetic risk factors of ADHD, as well as precursors and early signs reported in the first 3 years of life among children from general population that later develop ADHD. The findings of this study may have potential implications for the development of approaches to early population screening and intervention programmes. Early predictors of ASD have been broadly researched, but in comparison, this has not been extensively studied in ADHD. We therefore highlight the need of considering the developmental determinants of ADHD, as well as the genetic and environmental factors.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 5 August, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 7 August, 2020
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Developmental disorders - autism, Statistical methods, Genetics