What Causes ADHD?

What Causes ADHD?
After much research, the answer is…

Read More: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml

We’ve all heard that ADHD is caused by chemical imbalance. That’s really just a theory. ADHD may be related to a neurotransmitter called dopamine. After much research, it’s still impossible to determine if ADHD is caused by a malfunctioning or slow dopamine system.

How about genetics? Likely, but there’s no absolute certainty about a genetic link either because in some cases, no genetic link has been found.

Other research has indicated that smoking, the use of acetaminophen, or drinking during pregnancy, might be linked to ADHD in children.

The National Institute of Mental Health says:

“Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role. Like many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors. In addition to genetics, researchers are looking at possible environmental factors, and are studying how brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment might contribute to ADHD.”

Some studies have indicated that children with ADHD have reduced brain mass or delayed maturation of certain areas of the brain. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicate that delayed brain maturation may be related to the underdevelopment of brain connections related to attention in ADHD children.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. There is no certain cause of ADHD. It is likely to be caused by a variety of factors.

What do we do as parents, educators, and other concerned people if we don’t know the cause? One of the greatest conundrums in life is thinking that knowing the cause affects the outcome. As far as ADHD is concerned, knowing the cause won’t likely affect your outcomes; knowing that you smoked, used acetaminophen, were exposed to lead, or used alcohol during pregnancy will not change the fact that your child has ADHD.

You’ve got a variety of weapons against it in your arsenal ranging from medicine, to cognitive training, parental training, dietary change, behavioral training for your child, to exercise, and more.

No matter the cause, we know the brain can change and be changed through proper training. There is hope.

Early Risk Factors Between Boys and Girls

New study squashes previous findings
To read more: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_143061.html

 

If you’ve worried that your pregnancy may have caused ADHD in your child, take a breath of relief. A new study of nearly 13,000 ADHD children finds that low-birth weight, fetal distress, and post-term pregnancy are not factors for ADHD.

And although boys are often diagnosed 2 to 1 over girls (often greater), the researchers say that the risk factors were similar between boys and girls.

Published in December’s online issue of Pediatrics, the study finds that ADHD is very heritable; it is often passed genetically.

Oddly, the researchers did find a correlation to to ADHD when a mother had a urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Other correlations were found if the mother was younger, single, or smoked during pregnancy.

ADHD was more prevalent in mothers who had induced labor. This correlation lacked explanation.

ADHD and Smoking Later in Life

Is there a connection?
Full article reported: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/10/30/gene-may-be-tied-to-both-smoking-and-adhd-study-suggests

New research published online in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood (Oct. 29, 2012) says that childhood ADHD may increase the likelihood of smoking later in life.

The researchers examined blood samples from 450 ADHD children aged 6 to 12 years, their siblings, and parents. The samples were tested for genetic variations strongly associated with smoking attributes. These included:

1. The number of cigarettes smoked every day.
2. Starting smoking.
3. Quitting smoking.
4. Times of smoking.

The researchers also asked the mothers about their smoking habits during pregnancy. The data indicated that ADHD people are more likely to start smoking early and to smoke twice as much as those without ADHD.

This research is similar to research indicating a relationship between ADHD and drug use in later life.

Although the study found an association between the genetic variant and ADHD and smoking behaviors, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship so further research is necessary.

However, even without a cause-effect relationship, the data need to be heeded. Start early prevention.

Call Play Attention. 800.788.6786.

Photo: ADHD and Smoking Later in Life<br />
Is there a connection?</p>
<p>New research  published online in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood (Oct. 29) says that childhood ADHD may increase the likelihood of smoking later in life.</p>
<p>The researchers examined blood samples from 450 ADHD children aged 6 to 12 years, their siblings, and parents. The samples were tested for genetic variations strongly associated with smoking attributes. These included:</p>
<p>1. The number of cigarettes smoked every day.<br />
2. Starting smoking.<br />
3. Quitting smoking.<br />
4. Times of smoking.</p>
<p>The researchers also asked the mothers about their smoking habits during pregnancy. The data indicated that ADHD people are more likely to start smoking early and to smoke twice as much as those without ADHD. </p>
<p>This research is similar to research indicating a relationship between ADHD and drug use in later life. </p>
<p>Although the study found an association between the genetic variant and ADHD and smoking behaviors, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship so further research is necessary. </p>
<p>However, even without a cause-effect relationship, the data need to be heeded. Start early prevention. </p>
<p>Call Play Attention. 800.788.6786.

Tobacco Smoke, Lead & ADHD

The November issue of the medical journal Pediatrics published research from Dr. Robert Kahn et al regarding the relationship between tobacco smoke, lead concentrations, and ADHD.

Kahn, a physician and researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, found that two risk factors: 1) exposure to tobacco in the womb and 2) exposure to lead in childhood significantly increased the likelihood of ADHD developing  in children.

The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Tobacco exposure in the womb was measured by reports of cigarette use during pregnancy, and childhood lead exposure was assessed by blood levels. Of the 2588 cases they reviewed, the researchers determined that children aged 8 – 15 who were exposed to tobacco smoke in the womb were 2.4 times more likely to have ADHD. Children with lead blood levels in the top third of the population had a 2.3-fold increased likelihood of ADHD diagnosis.

Lead researcher, Tanya E. Froehlich, MD, cited that the combination from both lead and tobacco smoke created a synergistic effect, an even greater effect than smoke or lead alone. Children who were exposed to  both tobacco smoke in the womb and higher lead levels had a more than eightfold increased chance of having ADHD compared to children who weren’t exposed to either.

The study does have limitations; the researchers analyzed data on smoking that was derived from the mothers’ answers on a questionnaire. The data did not include the number of cigarettes smoked. And while the researchers found a link between tobacco, lead and ADHD, they did not prove that these factors actually caused the disorder. This is similar to previously published research on prenatal tobacco smoke and lead levels.

Curiously, smoking tobacco is twice as popular in the adult ADHD population compared to the non-ADHD adult population.  Columbia University researchers established a study to determine if smoking ameliorated ADHD symptoms in adults back in 2006.  If tobacco smoke truly increases the risk of developing ADHD, the popularity of smoking among ADHD adults may create a cycle of producing more ADHD children if smoking is done prenatally.

While a strong genetic link is still the likely cause of ADHD, environment still plays a significant role in brain development. The researchers assert that perhaps up to 35 per cent of cases of ADHD in youngsters aged between 8 and 15 could be reduced by getting rid of both prenatal exposure to tobacco and childhood exposure to lead.