Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD as it is commonly called, is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorders in children. Although ADHD is sometimes diagnosed in adults, it is more frequently diagnosed in children. Children with ADHD are easily distracted, restless, and impulsive. Despite the frequency with which it is diagnosed, there is a lot that we do not know about ADHD. Fortunately, recent research has provided a little more useful information about ADHD.
According to a study at Cardiff University, children with ADHD are more likely to have missing or duplicate segments in their DNA than children without ADHD. This type of genetic variation is similar to the genetic variations that are found in individuals with autism and schizophrenia, which suggests that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. ADHD is also highly heritable. In a set of twins, if one twin has ADHD, there is a 75% chance that the other twin has it too. Also, adults that have ADHD are likely to have children with ADHD.
There has been a lot of speculation about the causes of ADHD. Unfortunately, the speculation has often resulted in blaming the parents of children with the disorder, saying that it is caused by poor parenting or improper nutrition, or even blaming the children themselves for being badly behaved or lazy. According to the study, though, there is a biological reason for the disorder – the brains of children with ADHD develop differently than the brains of children without ADHD. Currently, ADHD is treated with medications and/or behavioral therapy. Hopefully, this new insight into the cause of ADHD will lead to more effective treatment options for those who are affected by the disorder and help to correct some of the perceptions and misunderstandings that people often have about people who are affected by ADHD.