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Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD : a systematic review

(2016) ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA. 28(5). p.249-256
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Abstract
Objective ADHD is a prevalent and highly heritable mental disorder associated with significant impairment, morbidity and increased rates of mortality. This combination of high prevalence and high morbidity/mortality seen in ADHD and other mental disorders presents a challenge to natural selection-based models of human evolution. Several hypotheses have been proposed in an attempt to resolve this apparent paradox. The aim of this study was to review the evidence for these hypotheses. Methods We conducted a systematic review of the literature on empirical investigations of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts for ADHD in adherence with the PRISMA guideline. The PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were screened for relevant publications, by combining search terms covering evolution/selection with search terms covering ADHD. Results The search identified 790 records. Of these, 15 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and three were included in the review. Two of these reported on the evolution of the seven-repeat allele of the ADHD-associated dopamine receptor D4 gene, and one reported on the results of a simulation study of the effect of suggested ADHD-traits on group survival. The authors of the three studies interpreted their findings as favouring the notion that ADHD-traits may have been associated with increased fitness during human evolution. However, we argue that none of the three studies really tap into the core symptoms of ADHD, and that their conclusions therefore lack validity for the disorder. Conclusions This review indicates that the natural selection-based accounts of ADHD have not been subjected to empirical test and therefore remain hypothetical.
Keywords
DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY, DISORDER, DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER GENE, RISKY SEXUAL-BEHAVIOR, CHILDHOOD, ADHD, INSTITUTIONAL DEPRIVATION, METAANALYSIS, ASSOCIATION, CHILDREN, LIFE, adaptation, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, biological, evolution, biological, genetic, selection

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MLA
Thagaard, Marthe S et al. “Empirical Tests of Natural Selection-based Evolutionary Accounts of ADHD : a Systematic Review.” ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA 28.5 (2016): 249–256. Print.
APA
Thagaard, M. S., Faraone, S. V., Barke, E., & Ostergaard, S. D. (2016). Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD : a systematic review. ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA, 28(5), 249–256.
Chicago author-date
Thagaard, Marthe S, Stephen V Faraone, Edmund Barke, and Soren D Ostergaard. 2016. “Empirical Tests of Natural Selection-based Evolutionary Accounts of ADHD : a Systematic Review.” Acta Neuropsychiatrica 28 (5): 249–256.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Thagaard, Marthe S, Stephen V Faraone, Edmund Barke, and Soren D Ostergaard. 2016. “Empirical Tests of Natural Selection-based Evolutionary Accounts of ADHD : a Systematic Review.” Acta Neuropsychiatrica 28 (5): 249–256.
Vancouver
1.
Thagaard MS, Faraone SV, Barke E, Ostergaard SD. Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD : a systematic review. ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA. New york: Cambridge Univ Press; 2016;28(5):249–56.
IEEE
[1]
M. S. Thagaard, S. V. Faraone, E. Barke, and S. D. Ostergaard, “Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD : a systematic review,” ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 249–256, 2016.
@article{8509987,
  abstract     = {Objective ADHD is a prevalent and highly heritable mental disorder associated with significant impairment, morbidity and increased rates of mortality. This combination of high prevalence and high morbidity/mortality seen in ADHD and other mental disorders presents a challenge to natural selection-based models of human evolution. Several hypotheses have been proposed in an attempt to resolve this apparent paradox. The aim of this study was to review the evidence for these hypotheses. Methods We conducted a systematic review of the literature on empirical investigations of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts for ADHD in adherence with the PRISMA guideline. The PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO databases were screened for relevant publications, by combining search terms covering evolution/selection with search terms covering ADHD. Results The search identified 790 records. Of these, 15 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and three were included in the review. Two of these reported on the evolution of the seven-repeat allele of the ADHD-associated dopamine receptor D4 gene, and one reported on the results of a simulation study of the effect of suggested ADHD-traits on group survival. The authors of the three studies interpreted their findings as favouring the notion that ADHD-traits may have been associated with increased fitness during human evolution. However, we argue that none of the three studies really tap into the core symptoms of ADHD, and that their conclusions therefore lack validity for the disorder. Conclusions This review indicates that the natural selection-based accounts of ADHD have not been subjected to empirical test and therefore remain hypothetical.},
  author       = {Thagaard, Marthe S and Faraone, Stephen V and Barke, Edmund and Ostergaard, Soren D},
  issn         = {1601-5215},
  journal      = {ACTA NEUROPSYCHIATRICA},
  keywords     = {DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER,ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY,DISORDER,DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER GENE,RISKY SEXUAL-BEHAVIOR,CHILDHOOD,ADHD,INSTITUTIONAL DEPRIVATION,METAANALYSIS,ASSOCIATION,CHILDREN,LIFE,adaptation,attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity,biological,evolution,biological,genetic,selection},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {249--256},
  publisher    = {Cambridge Univ Press},
  title        = {Empirical tests of natural selection-based evolutionary accounts of ADHD : a systematic review},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/neu.2016.14},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2016},
}

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