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Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

STAR Project

We would like to invite you to take part in this project that is designed to find out about the genetic causes determining response to stimulants i.e. Ritalin, Concerta, Dexedrine in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

There is strong evidence that ADHD tends to run in families. Research has shown the importance of genetic influences in the development of ADHD, although this does not mean that the behaviour is caused by genetic factors alone. The genetic predisposition is modified in turn by environmental factors that are also unclear. The STAR Study is designed to look for genes and clinical factors influencing response to stimulant medication in ADHD. The study will use molecular genetic techniques and match the genes to detailed clinical examination findings.

The STAR Study is funded by the Health Research Board of Ireland. This is a government body which funds medical research. The study is a joint Trinity College Dublin and UCD project and the research team office is in St. James Hospital. The study is currently waiting to be examined by the ethics committee in your health board area and has already been approved by three other ethics committees. This ensures that patient interests have been protected.

The STAR Study is currently recruiting children aged 5 to 15 years who have been diagnosed with ADHD and are due to start taking stimulant medication for the first time. The study involves the researchers Dr. Edwina Barry and Marie Cox meeting families before the child starts on medication and three times during the following year to assess the child's response. Dr. Barry will interview the parent about the child's behaviour while the psychologist Marie Cox will ask the child to complete a series of tasks to assess attention, general intelligence, language development and reading ability. The parent and child's teacher will be asked to complete a number of brief questionnaires about the child's symptoms. We also need to obtain a small blood sample from the child and the biological parent(s).

Participation in this study is voluntary and you have the right to withdraw at any time without your child's treatment being affected. Participation is confidential and your medical information and DNA will be stored using a code. Feedback is given to your child's doctor from the psychological assessments and rating sale measures of response.

If you have any questions about the study please feel free to contact the researchers at:
Tel: (01) 8962464 or email:
Dr Edwina Barry: ebarry@tcd.ie
Ms Marie Cox


Last updated 21 September 2016 by School Web Administrator.