The relationship between plasma erythropoietin levels and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Se-hoon Shim 1, Yong-Ku Kim 2, Young Hwangbo 3, Hee-jung Yoon 4, Ji Sun Kim 1, Youn Jung Lee 5, Young-Sup Woo 6, Won-Myong Bahk 6*
1Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea , 2Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Republic of Korea, 3Department of Preventive medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea, 4Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Seoul, Republic of Korea , 5Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine and Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Republic of Korea, 6Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Received: July 30, 2020; Accepted: August 6, 2020; Published online: August 6, 2020.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
There are animal models associating dopamine dysfunction with behavioral impairments that model ADHD. Erythropoietin (EPO) has trophic effects on dopaminergic neurons. The aim of this study was to examine the EPO plasma levels and determine whether there was any correlation between plasma EPO levels and clinical characteristics of ADHD. Plasma EPO levels were measured in 78 drug-naïve children with ADHD and in 81 healthy children. The severity of ADHD symptoms was determined by scores on the Korean ADHD Rating Scale (K-ARS) in ADHD children and healthy controls. The difference between median plasma EPO levels in ADHD children and in healthy controls was not statistically significant. Adjusting for age and gender, a linear regression analysis showed that inattention score was significantly higher in the second highest tertile of plasma EPO compared to those in the lowest tertile. Hyperactivity-impulsivity score was significantly higher in the highest tertile of plasma EPO compared to those in the lowest tertile. Moreover, total K-ARS scores were significantly higher in the second highest tertile of plasma EPO compared to those in the lowest tertile. These findings suggest that plasma EPO levels were related to some ADHD symptoms, which could be used in the monitoring of the disorder.
Keywords: ADHD, erythropoietin, neuroprotection, neurodevelopment


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