A Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientist received an honor for his research into attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA).
Associate Professor Mark Bellgrove receievd a Paul Bourke Award for his Early Career Research after successfully investigating the cause between the genes for ADHD and its cognitive problems.
“It's an honour, naturally, to be recognised by your peers, especially in an area of research where so many families are affected,” Dr Bellgrove said.
The award also acknowledges his research into the genetic basis of the the disorder, which will be presented during the Paul Bourke Lecture on Wednesday, June 30.
“Problems inhibiting behaviour are a major feature of a lot of psychiatric disorders. People with ADHD have trouble inhibiting behaviour – for example, children often blurt out answers in class at inappropriate times and just can't exercise cognitive control,” Dr Bellgrove said.
The neuroscientist is conducting one of the largest studies in Australia into ADHD in an effort to identify the genes that provides risk to the disorder. His team would be recruiting at least 600 families for their research.
Dr. Bellgrove is also probing the effects of certain chemicals, such as dopamine and noradrenalin that inhibits behavior.
“Drugs that are used to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin, have a mixed dopamine and noradrenaline action and this seems important to improving our ability to inhibit information, he said.
“This research also provides us with molecular targets for genetic analysis, so we can look for genetic variation in the noradrenaline transporter gene and see whether it predicts your ability to be able to inhibit your behaviour.”
He added the research will aid other researchers to diagnose their patients and have better treatments.