Interview with Dr Nagwa A. Meguid

Posted Tue, Jun, 09,2015

This author interview is by Dr Nagwa A. Meguid, of National Research Center, Giza. Dr Meguid's full paper, Polymorphism in Variable Number of Tandem Repeats of Dopamine D4 Gene Is a Genetic Risk Factor in Attention Deficit Hyperactive Egyptian Children: Pilot Study, is available for download in Biomarker Insights.

Please summarise for readers the content of your article

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioral symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but the condition is heterogeneous due to both genetic and environmental causes. There is no cure for ADHD, but it can be managed with appropriate educational support, advice and support for parents and affected children, in addition to medication, if necessary. An incorrect diagnosis of ADHD can potentially be extremely damaging to a child because academic and medical decisions are frequently made based on this diagnosis. As a geneticist, Dopamine receptor D4 is the most studied receptor gene in association with ADHD. This receptor gene contains large number of polymorphism in its nucleotide sequence.

How did you come to be involved in your area of study?

I am the main supervisor from the National Research Centre (NRC), on the Master thesis of my student Malak Doss who is working under my supervision at the NRC.
What was previously known about the topic of your article?
It was reported that inattentive ADHD in Egypt constituted high percentage of the finally diagnosed cases. Thus, detecting the genetic factors for children with ADHD in the Egyptian population becomes imperative.

How has your work in this area advanced understanding of the topic?

We hypothesize that genetic heterogeneity in the VNTR is an important factor in the pathophysiology of ADHD and dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) is one of the most important candidate genes for ADHD.

What do you regard as being the most important aspect of the results reported in the article?

Our findings provide further evidence for an effect of DRD4 where children with smaller number of repeat alleles of this DRD4 gene have higher possibility to develop ADHD in Egyptian children. We concluded that taking in consideration the sequence of DRD4 VNTR is very important to estimate the contribution of this dopaminergic receptor to the pathophysiology of ADHD.

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