Study Shows Genetics Tied to ADHD


ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurological developmental disorder common among children characterized by inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.  Originally, doctors may have believed that ADHD was developed as an outcome of upbringing or other environmental factors, but recent research proves otherwise: that ADHD is tied to one’s genetic makeup.

According to CBS News, the study was performed at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and examined “whole genomes of 1,000 kids with ADHD, compared with those of 4,100 kids without ADHD.  The scientists looked for differences in the number of deletions or duplications of DNA.”  Those deletions or duplications are also known as “copy number variations”, and the study discovered those in four genes.  All four of the genes were part of the glutamate receptor gene, which is responsible for neurotransmission.  If the transmissions of neurons are being disrupted somehow, this can prove cause for certain neurological disorders, like ADHD.

The study, published in the Nature Genetics journal, proves that there are definite genetic ties to ADHD, which means more effective and safe methods of treatment can be created and distributed to provide relief to those who have the disorder.  Currently, treatments include behavioral therapy and medication.  Those are already effective methods of treatment to help people with ADD or ADHD, but knowing where the actual discrepancy lies within the genetic makeup of a person can help researchers better focus on the target, root of the problem.  It also helps shed light on an often misunderstood disorder.

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