ADHD and Dyscalculia: Evidence for Independent Familial Transmission

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The familial relationship between dyscalculia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was assessed. We conducted a familial risk analysis using probands with and without ADHD of both genders and their first-degree relatives. Participants were assessed with structured diagnostic interviews and a cognitive test battery. We found elevated rates of ADHD in relatives of both ADHD proband groups, regardless of dyscalculia status, and elevated rates of dyscalculia in relatives of probands with dyscalculia, irrespective of ADHD status. There was no evidence for cosegregation or assortative mating. Our findings support the hypothesis that ADHD and dyscalculia are independently transmitted in families and are etiologically distinct. These results reinforce the current nosological approach to these disorders and underscore the need for separate identification and treatment strategies for children with both conditions.

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