Objective: Epidemiological studies suggest that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) may be suitable as endophenotypes for ADHD. To be appropriated vulnerability traits, endophenotypes should be altered in unaffected relatives of index cases. Serum profiles of LC-PUFAs in unaffected relatives of ADHD patients remain understudied. The main objective of this study was to compare serum LC-PUFAs in ADHD patients, unaffected relatives of index cases, and general-population unaffected participants. Method: LC-PUFA profiles of 72 participants (27 ADHD patients, 27 unaffected relatives, and 18 general-population participants) were obtained by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Groups were compared by parametrical statistics. Results: Unaffected females from the general population presented lower Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA; p =.0012) and a-linolenic acid (ALA; p =.0091) levels compared with ADHD females and unaffected relatives. In addition, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/ALA and DHA/DPA ratios, addressing desaturase activity, were significantly lower in ADHD patients and unaffected relatives of ADHD patients in the female-subgroup (p =.022 and.04, respectively). Conclusion: DHA/ALA, DHA/DPA, serum DPA, and serum ALA may be suitable as endophenotypes for ADHD women.
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© The Author(s) 2012.