Rxivist logo

Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder with a substantial genetic component. However, the extent to which epigenetic mechanisms play a role in the etiology of the disorder is not known. We performed epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) within the Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium to identify DNA methylation sites associated with ADHD symptoms at two methylation assessment periods: birth and school-age. We examined associations of DNA methylation in cord blood with repeatedly assessed ADHD symptoms (age range 4-15 years) in 2477 children from five cohorts and DNA methylation at school-age with concurrent ADHD symptoms (age 7-11 years) in 2374 children from ten cohorts. CpGs identified with nominal significance (p<0.05) in either of the EWAS were correlated between timepoints (ρ=0.30), suggesting overlap in associations, however, top signals were very different. At birth, we identified nine CpGs that were associated with later ADHD symptoms (P<1*10−7), including ERC2 and CREB5. Peripheral blood DNA methylation at one of these CpGs (cg01271805 located in the promotor region of ERC2, which regulates neurotransmitter release) was previously associated with brain methylation. Another (cg25520701) lies within the gene body of CREB5, which was associated with neurite outgrowth and an ADHD diagnosis in previous studies. In contrast, at school-age, no CpGs were associated with ADHD with P<1*10−7. In conclusion, we found evidence in this study that DNA methylation at birth is associated with ADHD. Future studies are needed to confirm the utility of methylation variation as biomarker and its involvement in causal pathways.

Download data

  • Downloaded 515 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 34,967 out of 100,838
    • In genetics: 2,043 out of 5,019
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 12,915 out of 100,838
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 17,610 out of 100,838

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


  • 20 Oct 2020: Support for sorting preprints using Twitter activity has been removed, at least temporarily, until a new source of social media activity data becomes available.
  • 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
  • 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
  • 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
  • 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
  • 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
  • 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
  • 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
  • 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!