ADHD Causes, Risk Factors & Genetics Explained

October 28, 2021

I was diagnosed with ADHD at 29, and it made a world of difference. I finally had an answer for why my brain works differently than other people's brains. I also found some peace in knowing that even though my life hasn't been easy, there's a reason behind it all. In this blog post, we'll talk about what causes ADHD, the risk factors involved, and genetics to answer whether or not ADD is hereditary.

Causes of ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that affects people's hyperactivity and impulse control. ADHD influences brain development in helping to deal with what's called “executive functions". These include problem-solving, planning the future, evaluating behaviors, and controlling emotions.  Through ADHD Diagnosis, people become more aware of mental disorders and their effects.

What causes ADHD?

Genetics and heredity are important factors in determining who gets ADHD. They have already found that certain genes may contribute to the development of ADHD especially those associated with the hormone dopamine. Additional research suggests that young children are at risk of getting ADHD when exposed to some chemicals or if their mother had substance abuse during pregnancy. ADHD is not just caused by bad parenting, too much television, or game addictions.

ADHD and mental disorders have been found to run in families. When one parent has this disorder, it increases the chance that his or her children will develop it too and vice versa. There is also a very strong link between smoking during pregnancy and having a child with ADHD symptoms later on in life as well as substance abuse while pregnant. It can lead to an increased risk of getting ADHD naturally and learning disabilities because of the chemicals they contain which are harmful to fetal development.  Prenatal exposure to environmental toxins including heavy metals such as mercury has also been linked to higher rates of ADD/ADHD diagnoses after birth due to their toxic effects on brain structure and function.

False origins of ADHD

According to a predominant theory, certain foods and sugars were likely to increase the chance of having ADHD symptoms that affect mental health. Lack of discipline and excessive consumption of television games can be linked to ADHD as well. Other factors like parenting style and the stresses in the family may influence the severity of mood disorder and the level of impairment. The mother whose child becomes hyperactive should spend more time planning the best ADHD medications that he or she needs. When we use objectivity as the origin of disease, we can allow ourselves to make the right choice for ourselves and to take care of our families. How should we help children with ADHD?

Factors of risk for ADHD

The risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is increased by genetic factors. About 25% of children with ADHD have a parent who has the condition. They just developed it themselves, whereas 50 to 60% of youngsters whose parents both had the disorder will be diagnosed as well. Other than that, environmental and social issues can also play a part in increasing the child's risk of developing an impulsive behavior.

Many people who develop ADHD also have many other conditions in common. This includes learning disabilities, oppositional defiant disorder, difficulty sustaining attention, anxiety disorder flexibility, depressed behavior disorder, and addiction. Researchers have been studying factors that affect the mental health of a person and raise its chances of developing ADHD. It could be through brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment where the person was exposed.

ADHD and heredity

Genetic research shows that some gene has been identified to be associated with ADHD. This is supported by numerous family studies. More than 25 percent of family members had children with ADHD. When comparing identical and fraternal twins, more than three times as many identical twins had ADHD compared to fraternal ones. Adopted children with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD present in their biological families than in their adopted families. It confirms that the gene has a much higher redox potential for all environmental factors. It confirms a genetic part of ADHD.

How ADHD is inherited is likely to be complex and is not linked to a single genetic fault. ADHD happens in families and factors like genetics may be a significant factor that can cause it.

Other factors affecting the likelihood of ADHD

Genetic factors are considered primary causes of ADHD which are more prevalent in childhood. A potential contributor is also climate change and its impact on the environment has also been considered. The condition has been linked to higher amounts of lead in school-aged children. Brain injury from a traumatic event such as a stroke, brain tumor or blow to the head can also cause symptoms of inattention and impulsivity similar to ADHD but only a very small percentage are reported.

Frequently asked questions about ADHD causes

What are the causes of ADHD?

There is no one specific cause for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In most cases, it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to this condition. There may be some people who have an increased risk due to their genes, but they will not develop ADHD if they do not have any environmental risk factors.

What are the risk factors of ADHD?

Risks for developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can include exposure to toxins or alcohol in utero, preterm birth, low birth weight at full term, older paternal age (over 40), maternal smoking during pregnancy, mental illness within family members (such as autism, depression or anxiety), substance abuse of stimulant medications, and some brain injuries.

To avoid careless mistakes, it is important to take proper ADHD diagnosis with health experts and practice self-control through behavioral therapy.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can include difficulty concentrating, excessive activity (fidgeting), impulsiveness or has a difficulty waiting for their turn, talking excessively at inappropriate times, easily distracted, forgetfulness with tasks that need to be done in a certain order, sleep disorders, and experiences difficulty organizing tasks.

Children with ADHD show learning disabilities as they often delay tasks that require sustained mental effort. It is advisable to diagnose ADHD symptoms as soon as it becomes apparent to the kid so that proper medication such as behavioral therapy can be provided.

Experiencing symptoms that you think is related on having ADHD? Read our article - What you need to know about the Adult ADHD Self Report Scale Screener

Is ADHD hereditary?

Yes! The majority of studies suggest that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder does run in families. This means children are more likely to have the disorder if one or both parents has it as well. However, having a parent with this diagnosis is not 100% predictive of a child having ADHD as well.

What can I do if someone in my family has been diagnosed with ADHD?

You should first talk to the person who was diagnosed and find out what treatment works best for them. If you have any questions, try not to leave them unanswered because this could affect how they feel about themselves. The more educated you become about ADHD, the better equipped you will be when it comes to helping that person out.

Give them a piece of advice to seek the help of a mental health professional if needed. To properly treat ADHD and avoid careless mistakes, it is important to take stimulant medications or non-stimulant ADHD medications as prescribed to ease the pain when experiencing ADHD symptoms.

Who is likely to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Children between the ages of three and seven are more at risk for developing this diagnosis because they have a lot going on in their lives during these years! They may also not have developed the coping mechanisms to deal with stress yet.

What are some helpful resources for learning more about ADHD causes, risk factors & genetics?

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association is a great place to start! They have information on what you can do if someone in your family has been diagnosed and how it affects their life overall. Check them out here:

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Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. If you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD, it’s best to see a professional for a diagnosis.

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