According to the medical specialists, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common behavioral disorder that shoots itself right since the childhood. At the same time, psychiatrists believe it to be a neurobehavioral disorder strengthening since a very young age. Despite this, it is a fact that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or ADHD not only affect kids but also adults. In fact, a person of any age can have this disorder and that 60% of affected children retain the condition even in their adulthood.
So, what does ADHD mean? Regardless of the term in use such as ADD, ADHD, or hyperkinetic disorder as known in Europe and a few parts of the world, the condition refers to the difficulty in concentration and often overactive response. The affected person finds it more difficult to focus without getting distracted, control what she or he is saying or doing, and to determine how much physical activity is suitable for a specific situation than the normal individual. In simple words, people with ADHD are more restless as well as impulsive.
In children, the disorder is very different, which is evident from too much excitement and rowdy behavior. This separates them from those who are restless and inattentive to some extent, which are not necessarily the symptoms of ADHD.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4 million American kids between 4 to 17 years of age are suffering from ADHD, of which 2.5 million children are getting ADHD medication as of 2003. In 2003, above 7.5% of school going kids had ADHD, which their parents had diagnosed. The latter might throw some light on is ADHD genetic or not. According to the Psychiatric Genomic Consortium’s Cross Disorders Group, ADHD, major depression, schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorders might inherit some common genetic variations.
What Causes ADHD
What causes ADHD is yet to be clearly known even today, although the research is ongoing for clues. Most researchers believe that several factors together add up to the condition, which include:
- Genetic or Heredity: Because ADHD can be a part of family’s medical history, the kids of those families are more likely to inherit the genetic variations causing ADHD.
- Disturbance in Brain Chemicals: Most medical researchers are of the opinion that an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, which are responsible for transmitting nerve impulses to control behavior, can trigger ADHD symptoms. Moreover, it is believed that genes affecting the functioning of some brain chemicals appear to be dissimilar in ADHD patients. Latest studies reveal that dopamine as the brain chemical may contribute to ADHD.
- Brain Changes: Brain areas that are responsible for attention are less active in patients suffering from ADD/ADHD than in those without ADHD. Even an injury to the brain or a brain disorder may play a role in the development of ADHD. Additionally, kids with ADHD tend to possess some brain parts that are less energetic or undersized.
Other Causes: Poor nutrition, alcohol consumption, addiction, infections, and smoking are also some causes of ADHD, which work by altering the brain development of the baby. Similarly, exposure to harmful substances such as insect killers and lead, in childhood alter brain development.
Reference: US Health Authority