ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it's thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of someone with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves.
Can an adult be diagnosed with ADHD even though she didn't have symptoms of the disorder in childhood or adolescence? There is growing evidence that ADHD is emerging for the first time in adulthood for some people.
Simply put, people with ADHD have areas of the brain that function differently. The disorder begins in childhood, but somewhere between 30 to 70 percent of sons will also be fathers with ADHD. A number of published studies show a clear link to genetics, but it is not 100 percent conclusive.
Inheritance. ADHD has a tendency to run in families, but the inheritance pattern is usually unknown. Overall, the risk of developing this condition is about nine times greater for first-degree relatives of people with the condition (such as siblings or children) as compared to the general public.
ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity.
Trauma and traumatic stress, according to a growing body of research, are closely associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). Trauma and adversity can alter the brain's architecture, especially in children, which may partly explain their link to the development of ADHD.
What is the cause or basis of ADHD? It is an impulse disorder with genetic components that results from imbalances of neurotransmitters.
Boys (13%) are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls (6%). Black, non-Hispanic children and White, non-Hispanic children are more often diagnosed with ADHD (12% and 10%, respectively), than Hispanic children (8%) or Asian, non-Hispanic children (3%).
As you know, one trademark of ADHD is low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine — a chemical released by nerve cells into the brain. Due to this lack of dopamine, people with ADHD are "chemically wired" to seek more, says John Ratey, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Age of Onset
More severe cases of ADHD in children, as described by parents, were diagnosed earlier. The median age of diagnosis for severe ADHD was 4 years. The median age of diagnosis for moderate ADHD was 6 years. The median age of diagnosis for mild ADHD was 7 years.
ADHD was the first disorder found to be the result of a deficiency of a specific neurotransmitter — in this case, norepinephrine — and the first disorder found to respond to medications to correct this underlying deficiency. Like all neurotransmitters, norepinephrine is synthesized within the brain.
ADHD has been a subject of great controversy and debate. A number of people who have been diagnosed with the syndrome—some of them psychologists and psychiatrists—have challenged the notion that personality traits such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and distractibility deserve the label symptoms.
As a result, ADHD brains search for stimulation that can increase dopamine more quickly and intensely. Ultimately, the pursuit of pleasurable rewards may become a potent form of self-medication. In fact, dependent brains exhibit similar dysregulation of the dopamine reward system.
In addition to a formal treatment plan—whether medications, therapy, or both—prioritizing adequate amounts of restful sleep, consistent exercise, mindfulness practices, and a nutritious diet can help those with ADHD reduce hyperactivity, improve focus, and even boost mood.
ADHD is a mental health condition typically characterized by inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive behavior. On the other hand, trauma is a mental, emotional, or physical response to a shocking or distressing event or series of stressful events.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent cause for hospitalization in young children and teenagers. It's associated with developing mental conditions, including secondary ADHD, a form of ADHD that develops following an injury.
Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.
There's no simple test to determine whether you or your child has ADHD, but your specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed assessment. The assessment may include: a physical examination, which can help rule out other possible causes for the symptoms. a series of interviews with you or your child.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of the most prevalent childhood disorders today, is generally more likely to be diagnosed and treated in boys than in girls.
ADHD can't be prevented or cured. But spotting it early, plus having a good treatment and education plan, can help a child or adult with ADHD manage their symptoms.
Still, while environmental and cultural factors can alter behavior and child development, research confirms that ADHD is primarily a biologically-based disorder.