Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Euginia Singgih (Donders series 492)

16 March 2021

Promotors: Prof. dr. B. Franke, Prof. dr. A. Schenck
Co-promotor: Dr. M. van der Voet (Vivaltes)

Biological insights into candidate genes for ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders: lessons learned from Drosophila

Many studies have attempted to unravel the genetic architecture of multifactorial disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders, which produced long lists of genes carrying candidate risk factors. However, the contribution of those genetic factors and their associated biology to the disorders is still largely unknown. This thesis was designed to provide biological insight into the role of selected candidate genes in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders using the animal model Drosophila melanogaster. Using available toolboxes and face-valid behavioral assays, we demonstrated that downregulation of candidate genes in Drosophila caused behavioral alterations mimicking features of ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. The approaches used and findings of this thesis provide a basis for further understanding disease mechanisms and potentially also for the development of appropriate treatment options for individuals with ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.