How do genes influence ADHD?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Genetics are thought to influence attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Multiple international studies show that certain genes inherited from parents may contribute to a person's likelihood of developing ADHD. By identifying the specific genes involved, researchers hope to eventually prevent ADHD before symptoms develop. The discovery of these genes may lead to effective treatments, as well.

For children with ADHD, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health have found that those carrying a particular version of a specific gene have thinner brain tissue in the areas of the brain involved with attention. However, these brain tissue differences were found to be temporary; once the children grew up, their brains developed to normal thickness levels, even as their symptoms improved.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.