ADHD Causes – Still Largely Unknown

November 9, 2011

The exact ADHD  (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) causes have not been identified, despite a great deal of research on the subject. Researchers do know some important things about ADHD that can help them to hypothesize about ADHD causes. So remember, despite the speculation, there is no definitive conclusion about the sources of ADHD causes.

Experts in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder do know that ADHD tends to run in families, so there is a genetic factor involved in the disorder. Close family members of people with ADHD have a much higher chance of developing ADHD, and some of the associated disorders including depression, learning disabilities, and anxiety. Siblings and identical twins, especially, have a high chance of sharing a sibling’s ADHD. Researchers continue to explore specific genes and how they might make a person more susceptible to ADHD.  Generally, researchers believe that the genes that control some chemicals in the brain are different in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

In some people, ADHD results from head trauma and brain injury. This may be because the neurotransmitters are damaged in a similar way that they are damaged by a defective gene. Being exposed to some prenatal assaults, such as drugs and cigarette smoke, as well as premature delivery, can increase the incidence of ADHD. Some environmental toxins may also contribute to developing ADHD. These toxins include exposure to lead and PCBs. These toxins may interfere with the development of the brain, and this may predispose a person to ADHD.

Some disorders, including epilepsy and craniosynostosis, are comorbid (exist along with) ADHD. Other comorbid disorders are learning disabilities and conduct disorder.

Some researchers believe that food and nutrition may play a role in developing ADHD. Some researchers believe that food additives may make ADHD symptoms worse. Others believe that a lack of certain fats, including omega-3, may be linked to ADHD.

So there are many factors that may cause ADHD or make ADHD symptoms worse. Researchers actually know more about what  ARE NOT ADHD  causes. ADHD is not caused by laziness, poor parenting, too much sugar, watching too much tv, or bad schools.

Mom’s Take:

This is reassuring. When my daughter was first diagnosed, I drove myself (and everyone around me) a little crazy trying to figure out why this had happened. What were her causes of ADHD? Where had these ADHD symptoms came from? I remembered that I had gotten an ear infection during the pregnancy and had taken antibiotics. Was that it? I thought about the awful preschool she was in for a couple of months. Could this be the reason? On and on…