Successful Treatment with Atomoxetine of an Adolescent Boy with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Extreme Obesity, and Reduced Melanocortin 4 Receptor Function

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Abstract

Objective:

Recent case reports suggest a link between reduced melanocortinergic tone and both obesity and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We present the case of a 13-year-old, male, obese MC4R mutation carrier with ADHD.

Case Report:

The boy carries a heterozygous mutation in the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R; Met281Val), that leads to a reduced receptor function. Dominant mutations of this type represent major gene effects for obesity. He participated in a lifestyle intervention program for obesity and received treatment with the selective norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor atomoxetine for 31 months. The boy markedly reduced his BMI from 47.2 to 29.6 kg/m2.

Conclusion:

Atomoxetine proved to efficiently reduce weight in a severely obese MC4R mutation carrier with ADHD. We briefly discuss possible mechanisms for our observation, including evidence for the functional connectivity between melanocortinergic, dopaminergic, and norepinephrinergic brain circuitries.

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