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Sleep disturbances in ADHD: Investigating the contribution of polygenic liability for ADHD and sleep-related phenotypes

Lewis, Katie, Martin, Joanna ORCID:, Gregory, Alice M., Anney, Richard ORCID:, Thapar, Anita ORCID: and Langley, Kate ORCID: 2023. Sleep disturbances in ADHD: Investigating the contribution of polygenic liability for ADHD and sleep-related phenotypes. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 32 , pp. 1253-1261. 10.1007/s00787-021-01931-2

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Sleep disturbances are common in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and associated with poor outcomes. We tested whether, in children with ADHD, (1) polygenic liability for sleep phenotypes is over- or under-transmitted from parents, (2) this liability is linked to comorbid sleep disturbances, and (3) ADHD genetic risk is associated with comorbid sleep disturbances. We derived polygenic scores (PGS) for insomnia, chronotype, sleep duration, and ADHD, in 758 children (5–18 years old) diagnosed with ADHD and their parents. We conducted polygenic transmission disequilibrium tests for each sleep PGS in complete parent–offspring ADHD trios (N = 328) and an independent replication sample of ADHD trios (N = 844). Next, we tested whether insomnia, sleep duration, and ADHD PGS were associated with co-occurring sleep phenotypes (hypersomnia, insomnia, restless sleep, poor sleep quality, and nightmares) in children with ADHD. Children’s insomnia and chronotype PGS did not differ from mid-parent average PGS but long sleep duration PGS were significantly over-transmitted to children with ADHD. This was supported by a combined analysis using the replication sample. Insomnia, sleep duration, and ADHD PGS were not associated with comorbid sleep disturbances. There is weak evidence that children with ADHD over-inherit polygenic liability for longer sleep duration and do not differentially inherit polygenic liability for insomnia or chronotype. There was insufficient evidence that childhood sleep disturbances were driven by polygenic liability for ADHD or sleep traits, suggesting that sleep disturbances in ADHD may be aetiologically different to general population sleep phenotypes and do not index greater ADHD genetic risk burden.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1018-8827
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 December 2021
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 15:39

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