Title

DNA Methylation Correlates with Network Surface Area in Discordant ADHD Twins

Date

12-8-2020 2:30 PM

Abstract

Globally, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), affects children, adolescents, and adults, and can cause reduced academic achievement, occupational struggles, and social disability. Past research has attempted to explain the contributions of genetic and environmental factors in the functional connectivity of the human brain using twin’s studies. The variation in genetic risk factors for ADHD explains a minimal proportion of observed cases, which suggests how genes are expressed and appear to affect the likelihood of diagnosis. While differences in neural functional connectivity have been observed in ADHD and typically developing children, the extent to which these epigenetic factors contribute to differential neural behavior has not been investigated. To investigate epigenetic factors, one needs a cohort of twins that has discordant ADHD diagnoses, high-quality resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and epigenetic markers. We found that methylation at specific DNA sites was significantly correlated with the surface area of the visual, dorsal attention, and salience networks in the cortex. Suggesting that these three networks are expressing specific genes differentially due to environmental factors, which affect the topology of the brain and may account for diagnosis outcomes.

Biographies

Favio Estrada-Sanchez
Major: Psychology

Favio Estrada-Sanchez is a first-generation student majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Chicano/Latino Studies. He is part of the Developmental Cognition and Neuroimaging Lab at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is a Build EXITO scholar and a McNair scholar. Favio was born and raised in Southeast Portland and hopes to further his education through research or clinical practice to help the Latinx community in Oregon. Favio is active on campus with many organizations and enjoys building a community with his peers. He serves as a mentor for first-generation college students in the GANAS program at Portland State. In the future, he would like to obtain a PhD or PsyD so that he may continue his educational journey and be the first one in his family to obtain a doctoral degree.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Hermosillo
I received my B.S. in Human Physiology and a M.S. in Neurophysiology from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR and a Ph.D. in Systems Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia in Canada. I also held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. I'm a postdoctoral scholar at OHSU School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology and recipient of OHSU Fellowship for Diversity Inclusion in Research (OFDIR). Increasing representation of minorities within academia, particularly within science is a one of my passions. I participate in the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science (AVDS), I’m President of the OHSU Postdoc Society, I mentor BUILD EXITO Scholars, (a collaboration between OHSU and PSU, that provides research opportunities to undergrad minorities). I mentor students in the OHSU neuroscience post-bac program and participate in the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) Program. My research is to investigate the genetic factors that influence how our brain behaves. Our brain comprises several relatively stable neural networks, with dynamic interactions. Our ability to diagnose psychiatric disorders is limited by our ability to observe behaviors during clinical evaluation, however clinical heterogeneity and the imprecise nature of diagnosis represent fundamentally confounding factors limiting a better understanding of their etiology, prevention, and treatment. My research aim is to be able to discriminate between developmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and potential subtypes based on brain function. I use a combination of machine learning algorithms, genetics, and state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques to look at brain networks and classify neuropsychiatric disorders.

Disciplines

Psychology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33596

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Aug 12th, 2:30 PM

DNA Methylation Correlates with Network Surface Area in Discordant ADHD Twins

Globally, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), affects children, adolescents, and adults, and can cause reduced academic achievement, occupational struggles, and social disability. Past research has attempted to explain the contributions of genetic and environmental factors in the functional connectivity of the human brain using twin’s studies. The variation in genetic risk factors for ADHD explains a minimal proportion of observed cases, which suggests how genes are expressed and appear to affect the likelihood of diagnosis. While differences in neural functional connectivity have been observed in ADHD and typically developing children, the extent to which these epigenetic factors contribute to differential neural behavior has not been investigated. To investigate epigenetic factors, one needs a cohort of twins that has discordant ADHD diagnoses, high-quality resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and epigenetic markers. We found that methylation at specific DNA sites was significantly correlated with the surface area of the visual, dorsal attention, and salience networks in the cortex. Suggesting that these three networks are expressing specific genes differentially due to environmental factors, which affect the topology of the brain and may account for diagnosis outcomes.