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Method for determining the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

AbsADHDDNA methylationaDopamine transporterNeuro-receptors


The present invention provides strategies for both the diagnosis and the monitoring of the efficacy of treatments prescribed to patients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), by means of a simple method of epigenetic investigation on biological samples.

Technical features

Composite index evaluating the methylation levels of the promoter of the gene encoding the dopamine transporter (DAT), to be used as such or in combination with the serum levels of autoantibodies directed towards the DAT (hDAT nAb). The biological sample can be any biological fluid including blood, serum, urine, saliva and feces, even if it is preferably taken from the oral cavity (mouth). The protocol provides for the isolation of DNA from buccal swabs and the quantification of methylation levels of specific CpG sites in the promoter of the DAT gene. This parameter, alone or in combination with auto-antibodies (AABS) to specific peptide fragments of hDAT, which occur naturally in the serum, is a significant and reliable indicator to be used as a marker of ADHD both in the diagnostic and evaluation phase of therapy. . Currently, the clinical diagnosis of ADHD is based exclusively on structured interviews or questionnaires. However, the validity of these criteria for diagnosing ADHD is still a debated question. The overall protocol can be completed in a very short time, allowing rapid identification of ADHD markers at the clinical level.

Possible Applications

  • Diagnostic aid in ADHD;
  • Detection of ADHD markers in a clinical setting.


  • Rapid detection of ADHD markers at the clinical level;
  • Ability to deliver results to patients;
  • Ability to evaluated and prescribe new treatment to patients, in less time than required to complete questionnaires.