The Causes of ADHD

by on May 4th, 2012 at 8:53 am

We all know ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. However, not much focus is put on the cause. Unfortunately, a simple, definitive answer is not fully known or understood. While no one truly knows, evidence strongly points to genetic factors.

A recent study conducted by the Cardiff University School of Medicine compared the DNA of 366 children with ADHD and a control group of 1,047 children with no known symptoms of ADHD.1

The study found 14% of children with ADHD had an uncommon variation in their DNA structure, while this variation was only found in 7% of the control group. This and other studies show a strong correlation between genes and ADHD.

Another cause believed to be linked to ADHD is exposure to toxic chemicals. Research has shown the use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy has a strong correlation to development problems in children. Lead is also shown to cause developmental issues, especially if exposed in the first three years of life.

A common belief is that sugar can cause ADHD symptoms. While sugars have been found to have an effect on behavior, there are no studies that show a direct correlation between ADHD diagnosis and sugar intake.

While more research must be done to fully understand the causes of ADHD, the above theories have shown strong a correlation to the disorder.

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Sources:

1. Nigel M Williams et al, “Rare Chromosomal Deletions and Duplications in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: a Genome-Wide Analysis,” Lancet.

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