ADHD is a genetic condition, study says
September 29th, 2010
06:30 PM ET

ADHD is a genetic condition, study says

A new study in the Lancet provides the first direct evidence that genetic abnormalities are responsible for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD.

Although previous research had shown that ADHD can be inherited, no specific genes have been identified before that seem to underlie this condition. But that doesn't mean that someone with these particular genetic markers will have ADHD, experts say.

"This tells us that there is a biological marker that tells us that this person is susceptible to develop this disease," said Dr. Robert Marion, chief of genetics and developmental medicine at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

Researchers led by Dr. Nigel Williams at the Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales fully analyzed data from 366 children with ADHD and 1,047 who did not have ADHD.

The Lancet study finds that children with ADHD have more large, rare copy-number variants than children without the condition. "Copy-number variants" are pieces of DNA that are either missing or extraneous in the chromosomes. Other studies have suggested that these variants may be associated with schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Specifically, this study suggests a shared biological basis between ADHD and autism because of the shared genetic characteristics found in this study. Researchers also found genetic overlaps with schizophrenia.

""Eventually we’re going to be able to do testing that will identify susceptibility to ADHD or other conditions," Marion said.

But that test won't be available any time soon, especially because there appear to be a large number of variations in DNA that predispose a person to ADHD, Marion said.

The results suggest that ADHD is "not purely a social construct," the study authors wrote. "It’s a real hard and true disorder," Marion added.

On the other hand, this doesn't rule out environmental factors, Marion said. It may be that specific environments determine whether a person with these genetic variations goes on to develop ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, or nothing at all. However, scientists do not yet know precisely what those factors are.

In the future, as more becomes known about the genetics of ADHD, interventions may be tailored toward specific children before they begin to have serious problems in school, Marion said.

The study's "results are exciting, but how these findings will be clinically translated is still speculative," writes J. Peter Burbach, of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, in a Comment in the journal. More research should be done to further examine the associations between these genes and their outcomes.

ADHD has caused a great deal of controversy as parents struggle to appropriately treat their children.

Given that there may be nearly 1 million misdiagnoses of ADHD in the United States, a better grip on the biological basis of it may help mental health professionals distinguish ADHD from other problems.

soundoff (618 Responses)
  1. DrawingTheLine

    ADHD is a crock! Funny, ADHD wasn't heard of when spanking was OK in schools. We had to sit down and learn or else...On the other end of the spectrum, you have children who are MUCH SMARTER than us 40+ somethings (look at the fact that babies are now born with their eyes open, and are able to follow shapes). When these children get in school, they are already more advance in learning capabilities than many of the teachers who teach them. I say, up the curriculum for this next generation (not just a chosen few, as they have become the norm, and not the exception). Provide stimulating subjects for them (not more computer work, either), which will tap into their creative way of thinking. You will find that drugs will NOT be needed. I have 2 sons who were identified as gifted, but initially, they would not sit still in class. However, upon noticing their work habits and how they excelled, I had them enrolled in a Gifted & Talented (GT) program. For 1 child, GT worked; for the other, GT did not, as that bored him also, however, the school system was at its limit as how to handle extremely bright students. PARENTS, watch your children, and stop allowing doctors to destroy their creative genius in the name of "ADHD"! Spank 'em and encourage 'em!

    September 30, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jannette

      The kids getting the beating were probabl ADHD. Impulse control isextremely difficult for some kids. ADD kids fail at testing be cause the tests were designed for linear thinkers. "Normal" kids given a test designed for Big Picture Thinkers (ADD) will fail miserably. ADD in the prison popultions is almost 80%. Left untreated, ADHD ruins lves.

      September 30, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Drawing the Line, do you know what happened to the kids in your class who didn't (because they really couldn't) "behave"? What happened to them?

      I'll bet many of them ended up dropping out of school. They fell through the cracks. They were the casualties. Do you really want others to suffer like that? If so, call 1-800-I M A JERK.

      September 30, 2010 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
  2. davidp

    WOW, B.S.! You are truly an idiot, and I don't often refer to people that way. I have 3 children who have always been treated with lots of love and attention and well taken care of and one of them has ADHD. He struggles with it, and we've tried medication but never been happy with the side effects, so we work with him and the school counselors so that we can keep him focused. It really is something that is genetic, his mother has it, and has struggled with it for many years and still does. One example in your tiny world does not make something true, do some research before you spout off such B.S.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Debbie

    Wow, Thomas J, YOU ARE ONE IGNORANT PERSON. My son was diagnose with ADHD at the age of 5, we are very loving,caring parents, he's our only child. My son is one of the smartest, loving, spiritual kid ever, but it does not take away the fact that he has ADHD, his grades are all A and he even got the Principal Award last year. My dad was born in 1942 and he has ADHD back then, but back then they didn't have the money or the technology to treat this condition, so for your information, back then it existed. God bless your kids and hopefully you never have to go through this. But don't judge our kids, you deal with yours, we'll deal with ours. Have a nice day!!!!

    September 30, 2010 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mark jeneson

    A multitude of distractions and bad parenting create ADD and ADHD. Adult ADHD? Really? This "genetic inheritance" didn't even exist 40 years ago. There were no ipods, PSPs, color televisions, billboards, brutal advertising, computers, video games or ritalin forty years ago. Just another pill for another avoidable problem. If you don't want to be distracted or hyperactive then stop. As an entire nation I think we could tear a few pages out of the book of personal responsibility and self control.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sarah

    I think the people on here saying things about mistreating your children causes adhd and that we are just trying to make our children zombies are just trying to get a rise out of the people who do have to to live with and see their child suffer. My son has Tourettes and adhd. If it were not for research and meds. he wouldnt be able to live life as you speak about. Such as play with friends, play sports, be active. You obviously dont know the comlexities of such disorders and def havnt lived it! He can now play like the other kids and eat his food with out haveing to tic several times before a bite. His throat isnt as sore now that he doesnt have to clear it so many times. Yes he still does have some issues that go with ts and adhd but they are greatly improved. And he is not a zombie. Im not saying meds are for everyone or that they dont ever cause any sort of side effects but sometime they help so very much more then you think they hurt! They give them a chance to enjoy life! So dont speak as if you know what you are talking about on every situation.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. tb just a thought

    In my experience, seeing and knowing children who are now adults that took adhd meds, now have drug problems and criminal records. I'M not saying this happens to every child, but it helped make my decision when the schools would pressure me to put my child on meds. then later found out it was more for their interest, and not my childs. I feel my child has a very bright mind, i would not want to change that so the teacher can have an easier day. On another note, any adult self diagnosing themselves with adult adhd, then asking a Dr. for meds probably has a host of problems. Meds get abused alot..

    September 30, 2010 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Had ADHD all my life

    ADHD has always affected me. I am now in my 30's and hold down a sucessful career as an engineer. Discipline only gets you so far. It is commomnly known that those with ADD/ADHD excell at things they are interested in. If you really want to help someone suffering from this you should give them a good structure life. They also need to undrstand that this is not a curse but can be used for good. I have also found that I could spend hours focusing on things I really enjoyed. But if I did not enjoy it the task would take me hours to accomplish. (for example My brother or sister could write a 10 page paper in a couple of hours but it would take me 10-20 hours wirte that saem paper.) I also found that music helped me refocus faster into my task. The music had to be something I knew very well or contain no singing at all. This is a very real issue. It is amazing how much a little bit of medication helped me through all those years of school and can even now.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Great post. I've had it my whole 35 years, and agree with everything you've said. I didn't take meds and have an advanced degree and am very happy with life. I wish society could learn the value of this "disease". I see it as a total gift – the gift of creativity and lateral thinking.

      September 30, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  8. NicoleC

    This the best news for anyone who has been affected by ADHD. The proportions of this are epic, because most of what we think we know about ADHD (including treatment & diagnosis) would have to be re-evaluated...including societies idea that someone can be cured by 'growing out of it', extreme forms of punishments, explaining it away or by other rediculous means.

    **Note**Elizabeth Landau, the author of this article should have also made mention: The findings of the study she cited for 1 million misdiagnosed ADHD cases in the US was done by one university, targeting one age specific population.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. DJT

    People....we are not talking about Santa here....ADD/ADHD does exist. Unless you either have it or parent it, you have no room to even make claims that it is bogus. Those that make such comments are ignorant and insulting to those of us who know from personal experience that ADD/ADHD is a very real challenge. Oh, how I wish it were as simple as bad behavior...BUT IT IS NOT.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Givemeabreak

    Your comments are not only closed minded but ignorant. If you don't have a child with ADHD why are you reading this article? You have no right to comment on something that you have no experience with. You do realize that people just used to die from natural causes but then a medical discovery gave it a name and called it cancer. ADHD has always been around but our kids just used to be called disruptive or lazy. Researchers now know it is not just bad behavior. If you do have kids, I hope you never have to deal with this because it sounds like you would just punish them instead of giving them the tools that they need to help them succeed.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cindy

      I totally agree!

      September 30, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
  11. Monk

    I am a mom of 2 children with ADHD and they are both well spoken, loving thriving children. They have a great home life with disipline and love. This diorder has nothing to do with well behaved children and it sicken me to hear people write such hateful things who have never experienced what it is like to go through this. We as parents dont want to give our children these medicines but do i sit back and watch them not be able to to do there school work or comprehend what they are learning. My son could not read because he couldnt remember what he was reading, it was heartbreaking, so before you sit here and say things you know nothing about go sit down and try to read to a five year old who cant sit still longer enough to listen to that story he loves so much and see how it makes you feel. People are quick to judge something they dont live with everyday.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Sandra Schneider

    My son was recently (finally) diagnosed with ADHD. He is primarily inattentive. He is a great kid who takes no sugar (just doesn't like it) and no artificial colors. We parent with love, structure and communication. He is sweet and well behaved in school and is a favorite of all his teachers. However, he is constantly lost in a detail and can't even clean out a drawer without getting wrapped up in one playing card in the drawer. He can't carry on a conversation or answer a question or write a sentence either. He is always forgetting his homework, putting his clothes on inside out and daydreaming. It takes 3 1/2 hours for him to do his homework poorly. We do provide a very structured environment with notes and verbal cues, but it is not enough. I applaud all those who were able to overcome obstacles like this without medication. My son, however, after years of frustration and failing, will be starting a low dose of Ritalin. He is a bright, insightful kid, and I am looking forward to seeing what he is truly capable of without the constant distraction getting in the way.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. natalie

    Lazy people ill equipped to raise kids properly so they turn to drugs. There should be a license requirement to breed.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mr.Speed


      Are you even a parent???
      Dont sit there and make idiotic comments unless you can produce some facts!!!
      Go back to your parents basement and do some research – if you can get away from Face book long enough.

      September 30, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
  14. JS

    ADHD may be a real 'disease' but I suspect that most kids diagnosed with it don't have it.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ADDdoc

    "Accurate knowledge is the basis of correct opinions; the want of it makes the opinions of most people of little value."

    Charles Simmons

    September 30, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. questionauthority

    Every illness has a genetic component. There is a problem with this LIMITED thought process. Genes govern how our body responds to our environment (the other side fo the coin). Most of us are short sighted expecially when our lives become overwhelming. People read this and say "I told you so" and or feel that there is nothing that can be done short of some sort of gene therapy/science that does not exist yet. It also allows a scapegoat for those that manufacure/distribute/sell or administer some type of product that directly effects the body in a negative way weither it be a toy from china laced with lead or a pharmacuetical company that creates a life saving drug or vaccine. Dont get me wrong, I think gene research is good but it's a little backward for most illnesses. We cant live w/o the causes of many of the diseases we are trying to blame our genes for.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Chris

    Unfortunately, like many have said unless you directly have a child or loved one with ADHD or Autism you are simply ignorant. I used to be ignorant...believed it was made up, in the parenting, an excuse, etc. Then you have one child that is different than the others – right from the beginning. There are certainly many many misdiagnosis, but unfortunately it is still very much real.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. KDB

    @Nancy-Do you have ADD/ADHD? Do you know someone who has it? Do you know me or my son? You say you are a medical professional, what field are you in?
    I know how the world works, I know that having a degree is in no way a guarantee of success, however as a high school dropout I can obviously spell and write better than you. I chose to return to school so that 1) I can show my children that education is always important no matter how difficult it may be, 2) if I want to make a difference in the lives of people like myself I need to the educational background to do so 3) because there are to many people like you that "think" you know it all about who I am or what my life should be like.
    My father was like you, he thought the I was just playing stupid, that I just didn't want to listen, that I could sit still if I tried harder, like you he was wrong. He tried to whip it out of me he tried to punish it out of me, but where did that get either of us? Nowhere!
    I eat healthy, don't drink soda or eat candy and I feed my son the same way. However, nothing that we take out of, or add into our diets will ever fix the chemical imbalance in our brains! Do I wish that neither of us had to deal with ADD/ADHD? No I do not because it makes us who we are, but I do wish that ignorant people that don't know me or my son, would stop telling me how to take care of us.
    BTW, if I need to be a "sheep" for a little while, so that one day I can help make it possible for someone else to not have to go thru what I did as a child then so be it. I would rather that than to allow people like you to keep telling me that if I did this or that I would not have a problem!

    September 30, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. David F Pawlowski

    Comment and a question for the science staff and viewers of CNN; Given the fact that Scientists around the world have known for decades that smoking tobacco causes genetic damage. And given recent studies examining marijuana by scientists Wanye Hall at the University of Queensland Australia and separately by Rebeca Maertens at Health Canada have confirmed that cannaboid compounds also cause DNA damage. Why has so little questions been asked about the use of marijuana and its wide scale "legalization" for all intents and purposes regarding its possible connection to the kind of DNA and chromosomal damage that can apparently trigger things like ADHD and possibly the rise in the last two decades of Autism? Why are so few media outlets that seem to tacitly encourage "medical" marijuana not ask if such a connection is possible or probable? If women started smoking more in the last 20 years and if hybridized marijuana is as powerful as dopers say it is then no doubt both volitional behaviors have packed quite a wallop on zygotes and the preborn and that doesn't even start to connect the dots with the male contribution to reproduction. Think about the possibilties folks ADHD and Autism from genetic damage from smoking tobacco and/or smoking dope.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MattM

    To John T:

    I respectfully submit that you are both ignorant and wrong about this. I'm the father of 4 children, two having been diagnosed with ADHD and believe me, it's not a crock, BS, a MYTH, etc. My wife does stay home with our kids in lieu of having a full time career and is there for them after school for homework, soccer, etc. I'm active with them and are a part of their lives as well.

    So what does that mean in light of your comments? That my wife and I are ignorant or misinformed about out two children that over a 1-2 year period started failing school no matter how hard they tried or we helped, cried often, were told by classmates they were dumb, etc. The last straw was when I found my 6 year old in her bathroom in the dark in her bathtub with the light off crying saying she was stupid and nobody could help her. When you see one of your young children in that much pain you realize it is not a discipline or parenting issue, they have a problem.

    We had her diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive form. Low dose of medication for school only (not weekends or summers or holidays), some private tutoring to help her catch up with her grade level, and she's a straight A student, bright, happy, the favorite of teachers and classmates, extremely creative and funny, athletic, and extremely outgoing. She has about the best grades now of my 4 kids and works the hardest to excel. It took 3 years to overcome the low self esteem she had developed and to convince her she was smart and could do what she wanted, and SHE wanted to sign up for advanced math, science, etc. She works hard at it but excels and I can see the pride in herself when she figures out difficult problems (often in amazingly creative ways). I'm proud of her and wouldn't trade what we did for anything. Her response to me once she got the medication for school was " I can hear what the teacher says and remember it now becuase everything is less noisy." I think that is a very interesting thing for a 6 year old to tell you don't you?

    My older daughter at 10 did the same...straight As and her grades started tanking no matter how hard we tried, etc. Said she heard *everything* in class and it drove her crazy, scratching pens and pencils, birds, breathing, talking, AC blowing etc. She couldn't filter it. Imagine being in a crowded room and trying to study for an important exam, that is how it seems they perceive things with this condition. Same diagnosis as my other daughter and low dose medication. Grades went back up to A's and she told me that she could "filter" things...it wasn't so loud anymore.

    I don't care what you think, but my kids have something and it's NOT a MYTH and it certainly it's bad parenting and not keeping them active. I resent your implication my wife and I are somehow at fault because we don't engage them enough. I won't watch them self-destruct when I can help them with a little medication that made a night/day difference in them. If you want to call me delusional or stupid then go ahead, but they are not your kids. I'm glad your kids don't have it, because it breaks your heart when you see them suffering with it.

    My other two kids thankfully seem free of what we noticed in my two girls. To all the parents with ADHD kids, keep telling them they are smart and can do it. It's important they don't lose their self esteem.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      MattM, not sure if you read my post right after yours. But I had it when I was a kid and was a complete and utter failure in school. Straight Ds. But I also came up with amazing ideas as a kid and now have an advanced degree from a great school, and did it all without meds. It's a hard road, but it can be done. It's good that you tell your girls they are smart, believe me, they are likely even smarter than your "normal" girls – it's just our society and the lack of flexibility in the education system that makes life with the gift of ADD so hard. Yes I said gift 🙂

      September 30, 2010 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
  21. Paul

    The problem I see is with the way this whole issue is being framed. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid and was put on meds for 2 weeks. I couldn't stand it. Sure enough, I went from being a D student to an A student, BUT I lost all my creativity and became as boring and bland as all the other kids. ADHD is not a disease, it is a gift. The education system and society need to understand ADHDs value in society, we are the innovators, we are the creative people (I got an award from a NASA contractor for developing slush hydrogen in the 5th grade). Most people are linear, and good at memorization and repetitve tasks. We are not, we are massively lateral thinkers, we bring together diverse ideas and make a new connection that others can't – that's what makes us funny, that's what makes us creative and inventive. Screw the disease notion. And screw the drug companies for making good, valuable ADHD people worker zombies just like all you non "sufferers".

    September 30, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      I've read your posts on this subject before, and you continue to post as if your anecdotal evidence means anything to anyone but you. It doesn't. You didn't far well on medication. And just how many years ago was that, dear? And has medical science advanced not a whit since then? And are you representative of every other ADHD sufferer? Stop pretending you have the answer for all children. You don't. No matter how "brilliant" you think you are, you're not a doctor and you don't get to prescribe for anyone else.

      September 30, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse |
  22. Michele

    Just read this article...Sorry folks, but there's still no proof. Every chromosome is made of DNA, and they said that the genes are missing DNA or have extra DNA...missing or extra what? Anyone that knows a thing or two about genetics knows that the chromatin material is found in the nucleus of a cell...so where's the research? You mean to tell me from some chromatin material you found a fictional disease? It doesn't work that way. Where's the gene? What "gene marker" have you found? NONE. Tell me, what chromosome did you study? Oh, I forgot it's missing or extra DNA....which nitrogen base is it that's extra or missing? C, G, T or A or all? For those that know about genetics, you'll know what I'm talking about....for those of you who don't, the letters above are short for the 4 hydrogen bases that make up your DNA....your DNA is in the nucleus of your cells in your body...so tell me, which genes are these abnormalities found on? Can you identify the band on the gene too? Also, does the average Joe Schmoe know that during mitosis the chromatin material condenses and then thickens again, and it's perfectly natural. You people haven't proven anything except that you can throw around words like "study, "copy number variants", and oh my god, DNA. When you're able to find the gene and band on either the autosome or sex chromosome in which this "disorder" exists, then perhaps you could sway me. Also...can someone kindly let me know if this is going to be considered a recessive or dominant disease? How the hell can anyone look at a piece of DNA (which would take years and years and years to read) and say that people with certain behaviors have less or more DNA in their chromosomes?) Also is it not possible that those who DO have more or less DNA (which should really be called what it is...chromatin material) are "normal" and the rest of you aren't because you either have more of something you shouldn't have or less than something that you should have? I can go on with this forever. You'd need a "normal" brain to study this from to begin with. What designates those "with" (a fictiious) disorder and those without it in order to do a study? How do you know that those that have been diagnosed with this "disorder" are actually normal, and the rest of you are actually the ones with a disorder? There's no original model to review. Idiots, I tell you...idiots. ADHD is simply "inappropriate" and "unwanted" behavior that goes against the "social" norm...and actually the people "with this disorder" are the only ones that have the balls to stand up for what they believe in and not tolerate being forced to learn a bunch of crap that doesn't interest them nor will they most likely ever use in their lives once out of school. Let's go back to teaching our kids how to read, write and do simple math and forget about letting schools tell us how to raise our kids. For those of you with kids with this "disorder" you're being duped! Wake the hell up!

    September 30, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mother of four

      I'm sorry, but you're wrong. This isn't an excuse for bad behavior or to give kids meds, or anything of the kind. This is a very real condition.

      I'm an adult who was diagnosed with this condition as a child. I was raised in the south in the 70s by strict parents who did not understand what they had. I think they were convinced that they could "beat it' out of me. And, trust me, they tried. In those days, most teachers didn't understand either and I saw a lot of the paddle and heard a whole lot of "You're so smart. Why won't you . . . Be still, pay attention, focus, finish your homework, stop crying, stop interrupting, stop getting Fs in everything. Teachers put me in the back of class, off by myself because I was such a disruption. I had few friends because my social skills were so poor and I spent a lot of time alone.

      What my parents and teachers wound up with was a high strung kid who was convinced she was stupid and would never be able to please anyone so I gave up and was passed from one grade to grade for lack of a better idea–until I was about eleven or twelve. In the middle of an otherwise pretty awful time, complicated by my parents' divorce, and living with an abusive stepfather, a teacher discovered by accident that I could write when she asked us to write a poem and a short story (one of the few assignments I did complete that year). No one knew I was keeping journals full of stories and poems. Additionally, no one had noticed until then that I was inhaling books at top speed–most of them adult sci-fi novels and child psychology books (oddly, I was fascinated by autism). One teacher suggested I consider being a writer when I grew up. Another saw me interacting with a special needs child and suggested I be a teacher. Anyone suggesting that I be anything was huge and all I needed was just that little bit of forward momentum, that one compliment to fire my resolve. In brief–I went on to graduate from high school with honors and went to college. It was not an easy journey and I've had to fight to stay focused and organized my whole life. I have lots of wonderful long time friends these days, but am known for interrupting and talking too much if I'm not paying attention to the flow of conversation.

      I'm also the mother of four. My second born is on the autism spectrum–in many ways the complete opposite of me, in others, all too familiar. He is heading to college in a few months–a brilliant young man who faces more challenges than I ever did.

      So I'd suggest that you go find some other drum to beat, some other theory to ridicule. And–by the way–you don't know crap about DNA. Ask me how I know.

      September 30, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • Oilyhead

      Teaching might be where we should all focus our energies
      to reform, because after all is said and done that is where were will continue to grow and flourish as a species.
      Changing the belief of wanting and able to as two different and separate things. Children do well if they can, not if they want to. No child wants to fail. I am pretty sure because many people will disagree we're going nowhere fast.

      October 29, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
  23. Bob Barker

    Kids with hdhd are stupid and should be burned!

    September 30, 2010 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jennifer J.

      Wow! You can't get the acronym correct and you state that who is stupid?????

      September 30, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Alisia

      Maybe you need to study up on ADD\ADHD Alot of the people that have this are very smart and know more then u apparently do. LOL Alot of people do not realize this but we have had many people that have ran this country with ADD |ADHD lol some of the most brilliant mind in the world

      September 30, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
  24. Educated

    roesler – You confirmed the study!!! YOUR children are fine, however, your STEPdaughter has ADHD. Her biological father must have given her the gene since your children are so wonderful.

    September 30, 2010 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Jennifer J.

    ADHD is not all about hyperactivity.

    Our daughter, me and my husband, has the inattentive type which includes difficulty in maintaining focus, easily distracted, disorganized and “messy”, forgetful, difficulty completing tasks, slow to process information and directions, talkative, and easily upset and over-reactive to name a few. She is not disruptive in her classes. She is not "bouncing off of the walls" however, she because of the above symptoms, she does have ADHD but often persons with they type that she has, more often than not, girls, go undiagnosed. And yes, me and two of my first cousins have ADHD also.

    September 30, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Exposo

    Someday everyone will be genetically branded from the moment they are born. Try getting a job as a registered hyperactive!

    September 30, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mark

    I was diagnosed w adhd at 15. I was never a "problem child" However I wasn't able to keep things organized, or even express what i was thinking becuase as i formed the words I would be on to the next subject in my head. I have learned some coping skills but still lose track when typing/writing. That said I belive that adhd helped me be a better diagnosticion since I could often be doing 1 task while thinking about what cuased the first tasks problem. I as every adhd person I know also has a HYOPER-focus ability that we whould not like to lose. As for organization my mess may seem to be disorganised to you but I bet I can put my hand on the part,tool or information I need within 10 seconds even if its been in the big "junk pile" for 15 yrs. What infuriates me the most is that often becuase its not "normal" we adhd persons are treated as lower class peole. Out of 4 employers I had all said "there the right way the wrong way and Mark's way". Only one realized that my way was oftyen more cost effective and rewarded rather then penalized me for it. I just can't understand why if my way is legal and has better roi why would 3/4 of those employers not think it was the right and or better way.

    September 30, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. ignorance must be blissed

    BabyfaceMagee and others that post in the same vein, I can tell how smart you are because you have a BS degree. You know nothing whatsoever about ADD/ADHD until you have had a child diagnosed with it my son is now 29 and he is smart, kind, compassionate and most important and he did have two great parents but he was a handful and he has some common sense. Something you didn't get with your BS degree. Boy am I glad I'm not you

    September 30, 2010 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Dave

    @B.S; While it's true that misdiagnosis of ADD and ADHD is common and that many of these misdiagnosis happens with kids with lackluster parenting, ADD/ADHD is in fact a neurological disorder (note, I said disorder, not a disease). I am an adult with ADHD and I can tell you it affects my life, although over the years I have learned to cope with it without taking medication. If you still believe ADD/ADHD isn't real, go to medical school and get a medical degree, then come back and talk.

    September 30, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Fourth Generation

    I'm a 4th generation ADHD'er. I was told as a child that that all of my problems came from being from a "broken home" I couldn't have had a more loving family (my mother and her parents.) My mother was labeled "hard to handle" and my grandfather was just slapped with a ruler. My great grandfather and his sister must have at least carried the genes because they both had ADHD kids. I need medication. My daughter took it in grade school but doesn't take it in high school. Half of my family is ADHD the other half puts up with it to varying degrees.

    Some of my ADHD friends talk about "the explorer gene" ADHD'ers are explorers, inventors, creators, "what if'?ers? " They are also impulsive people who have a terrible time organizing and planning. Some neuro researchers did a study with ADHD'ers hooked up to a PET scan while they were performing tasks. In ADHD'ers one of the layers of tissue on the brain is thicker, one of the parts of the brain is smaller and there are fewer nerves that connect the parietal lobe to the frontal lobe than with "normal" people. The three people with the worst ADHD in my family also had difficult births. Does this contribute to the severity of ADHD? Maybe some researcher will find that out some day. In the mean time I am so glad that more research is being done and ADHD isn't so much considered a "charecter flaw" or from "bad parenting" anymore.

    September 30, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. naturalmom

    My heart goes out to anyone who is dealing with adhd, its is a very frustrating experience. My son started exhibiting classic symptoms of add last year as a first grader, he started having trouble being "present", he would drift off into deep daydreams causing him to not be able to remember directions, stay on task, complete work, know what to do next, he is a birght child but we couldn't figure out why this was happening. Everything changed once we turned our home into a chemical-free zone and started eating organic foods, the biggest culprits we determined were (with huge cooperation and observation from his teachers) artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, msg, the hundreds of forms of hidden msg... within one week of him eating organic foods he did a complete turn-around, I highly recommend anyone struggling with adhd to give it a try, whether your doctor is pessimictic or not, I was amazed at how much food was affecting his brain function. Now he has no problems in school with concentration or focus, is doing wonderful and is very happy. Its a shame more studies are not done to bring more light to how artificial food addtives are hurting our children. I am not pretending to guarantee this would fully help everyone depending on the severity of the adhd, but its worth a try, it can change your life, and I do beleive there are many, many children who could be helped with this one simple change.

    September 30, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Hester

    My ex-husband was diagnosed as a kid with ADHD and medicated for his parents convenience. He was 13 and weighed in at 55 lbs. My ex never learned how to cope without a chemical crutch and can't keep a job as an adult. He has chronic high blood pressure in part because the ritalin (prescription speed) stressed his circulatory.

    I can't concentrate worth a damn without extensive effort, but my parents worked with me instead on ways to retain information and focus. I work as a project manager juggling multiple tasks....find an occupation to fit your style.

    Meds for our hummingbird of a daughter? No thanks folks. Everyone is different. Your "weakness" can be your strength.

    September 30, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Nancy

    David do you know there are already canibanoid receptors in our brain? Cannibis has shown to actually assist in long term (not temporary short term) concentration and has shown positive effects on treating symptoms of parkinson's and alzheimers. Go figure. Maybe that's why the majority of scientists concentrate on the many positive aspects and not on the few negative aspects. Just my opinion.

    September 30, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Nancy

    @ KDB in no way did I mean any offense. I am a biologist if you need to know. However before castigating someone's spelling or grammatical errors (of which I had none) please review your own diatribe.

    September 30, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KDB

      I also found the post by KBD of interst. (Interest)
      get plenty of rest and excercise (exercise)
      before placing your child on unecessary (unnecessary)

      September 30, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  35. Nancy

    KDB please inform me which test they performed on you that detected the "chemical imbalance" in your brain. I would love to know so I may apply for the Nobel Prize. There are no physiological/biological tests, I repeat NO TESTS that can indicate chemical imbalances in your brain. There are MRI and/or PET scans that can detect changes in brain activity, but at the current time there are no tests that can indicate low/high levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. There are blood tests that can be performed for serotonin, however these are for Carcinoid syndrome and other form of BODY pathologies. There are no tests available for brain "disorders". These are all SUBJECTIVE behaviors.

    September 30, 2010 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KDB

      The topic of ADHD chemical imbalance and its treatment is perhaps the most exciting area of ADHD research. Billions are being spent to pursue this research avenue. In this informational article we will explore the ins and outs of brain chemistry as it applies to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. So let's get started!
      For the brain to effectively communicate with itself it needs the help of a handful of chemical neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are tiny chemical messengers that make it possible for one neuron (nerve) to communicate with another. When the upstream neuron gets excited and is desperate to pass on information to its cousin neuron down the street, it releases the neurotransmitter molecules into a closed connection called a synapse. The neurotransmitter then crosses the space to it fellow neuron membrane and binds to specific receptors that cause an effect inside the nerve.
      ADHD chemical imbalance
      In a person without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder brain chemicals are in balance and work in harmony. But for those with ADHD the three primary neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin) are unbalanced. For instance research suggests that distractibility is caused by too much norepinephrine activity in relation to the amount of dopamine activity. Impulsivity may be related to too much norepinephrine or too little dopamine. Obsessiveness can be an indication of too much dopamine in relation to the amount of serotonin.
      With many ADHD symptoms, the amount of chemicals in the nerves is normal, and the difficulties stem from how the chemicals release or how the receptors bind them.
      One way to think about an ADHD chemical imbalance is that it is a problem of balance between the activities of norepinephrine and dopamine. When too much norepinephrine is present the ADHD personality becomes restless and/or nervous, and finds it hard to focus attention on anything other than rewards or opportunities. When dopamine is in charge, the ADHD personality has a tendency to get stuck on repetitive activities, and boredom disappears. For a diagnosis of the condition too much norepinephrine will likely need to be present to produce the primary diagnostic symptoms of inattention.

      September 30, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse |
  36. Nancy

    Neurological research has identified over fifty (50) neurotransmitters in the brain. Research also tells us that several neurotransmitters are related to mental health problems – Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid). Too much or too little of these neurotransmitters are now felt to produce psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and ADHD. Unfortunately, the body doesn't have a built-in dipstick for neurotransmitters, at least one that's inexpensive enough for community mental health practice. There are advanced imaging techniques such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scans) that are being utilized in research and in the development of medications that directly influence changes in specific neurotransmitters. Lacking a PET Scanner, most professionals evaluate neurotransmitter levels by looking for indicators in thought, behavior, mood, perception, and/or speech that are CONSIDERED related to levels of certain neurotransmitters.

    September 30, 2010 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Amadai

    To medicate or to not medicate??? Of course this is a personal decision to be made with the child’s doctor. I personally believe that a multidiscipline approach makes for the most effective strategy. Using medications in the multidiscipline approach provides the child the ability to focus during counseling and behavior & cognitive therapies in order to develop personal coping mechanisms to use throughout life. Once the child has learned how to cope then the need for medication can be reassessed and often the medication can be eliminated.

    September 30, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Clarice

    genetic, duh!! of course it is (at least in some families) my husband has it, his younger brother too, half of his uncles & cousins on his mothers family side, now several of our children, grandchildren & g-grandchildren!! it goes on and on!!

    September 30, 2010 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. KND

    I would like to start by saying if you haven't experienced it, your comments really don't mean a thing. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, BUT, you really should educate yourselves before posting such nasty comments. Your comments show nothing but ignorance......

    September 30, 2010 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. dizzybuzz

    Ligthtbulb may need to increase his dosage. 96% smarter than the next kid is a simple mathematical formula starting with the specific perfomance number in question of the "next kid". Perhaps your alternative school education for wasn't as special for some as for others.

    September 30, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Atlantic Firestone

    I've watched people deal well and poorly with adult ADD/ADHD. It got me very curious into the matter, and what I find is that it is disruptive to those who suffer from it, and those who have it know they have it. They don't fight the diagnosis or question it. It's not like a diagnosis of terminal cancer or something. From what I've seen it is not a false disorder or just some new psychiatric nomenclature to redefine normal as abnormal. There are some people with ADD/ADHD who outperform everyone else and are exceedingly intelligent, but that would be the exception not the rule. On the other hand, the drugs that they give to children are mind altering substances based on such things as methamphetamine and it seems that the flippant diagnosis of this would be very unwise. Nutritional modifications seem to help some people, just as orthomolecular approaches have helped some people with schizophrenic tamp down their condition. Compassion helps, dismissing it doesn't help, and stigmatizing it makes it worse.

    September 30, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Alisia

    Ok now it's my turn. I have bi-poler, I have 3 sons and 2 have ADD and it is real. So get over yourselves for the ones that think it is not real. IF YOU DON'T LIVE IT THEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE. ( SO JUST SHUT UP!. ) For me i am very glad that the research is going on for my boys and the rest that do suffer out here with the imperfects of the body and mind. We did not ask for it , it was given. Do you think i wanted my boys to have to live a life like this NO and I sure as hell do not like the card i was dealt. I knew there was something wrong with me for along time but did not know what it was till the 90's and now that i do i take care of it. And also take care of my boys. and they are successful for i did believe there was a problem and got them help. SO my main point is those non-believers don't even bother to say anything to the ones that have to have this kind of problem in there lives BECAUSE YOU HAVE KNOW IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!! Thank God that he gave man the knowledge to help people with these kind of problems so they may live better.

    September 30, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JAC

    I am 3rd generation ADD, so this study isn't news to me, but I am grateful that it is being documented. Some people have commented that ADHD isn't really a serious disease, and that it doesn't kill people, so it isn't worth time and money to study it. If I seriously contemplated suicide multiple times during my lifetime (which I have), it stands to reason that plenty of people with this disorder have committed suicide as a result of suffering from it. But no, "ADHD" is not listed as the cause of death. If you don't have ADHD/ADD or understand what it is to suffer from it, please understand that it is much more complicated than you realize. Hateful comments do not help.

    September 30, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. diagnosed @ 7

    OK, whoeveri n here saying that ADS is BS if full of crap. It's real and it inheritable. And no, the the bit about they come from bad homes is crap also, I come from a good military family, nothing could be farther from the truth.

    September 30, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Dana

    To the diimwits who insist that "ADD and ADHD didn't exist 50 years ago" and other such malarkey, get a clue. There were ADHD in your classes and in mine; they were in the 2nd grade class my mother taught in the 50s. They simply were dismissed as "bad" or "naughty" kids, or kids who weren't "raised right". They were tracked into special ed classes and neglected or worse. And some of them probably ended up badly as a result. They were there-the diagnosis and understanding of their disorder were not. Unfortunately, some of you are stuck in the 50s to this day. Try to get those two lonely brain cells of yours to do some work and learn something instead of remaining ignorant jackwagons your entire life. At least people with ADHD and ADD have a reason for their learning problems. Other than lack of a functioning cerebrum, what's yours?

    September 30, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. x

    For all of you who claim that ADD did not exist in the " old days " when physical discipline was standard in schools, BS !

    September 30, 2010 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. x

    For those of you who do not believe ADD existed while corporal punishment was used , BS ! We just didn't know what to call it.

    September 30, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. x

    Testing 123...

    September 30, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. x

    ADD test ...+

    September 30, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. gaea106

    @kati You may have Asperger's syndrome. Look it up. My son has Asperger's syndrome (high functioning type of Autism) he also has been diagnoised with ADHD, epilepsy and bipolar disorder. My husband and I were shocked when he started school and had so many issues. We were very strict and he is super polite and kind to everyone, always was and still is. His first diagnoisis was ADHD at age 6. We resisted putting him on medications for several years and that was a big mistake. By the time we gave him medication he had given up, truely believed he was stupid or retarded and severly depressed. He took years of therapy to get his self esteem back to level and beat depression.

    September 30, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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