Submitted by: A T Trimble

There are many factors which predispose a person to ADHD, some of them known and some unknown.

There are many disorders, diseases and ailments which have known causes, whether bacterial, viral, degenerative problems or others. Some of these are easy to treat, but just because a cause is known, does not mean that the problem can be cured. Diseases like cancer, AIDs, Parkinson s, Alzheimer s and even arthritis have no known cure, though some of these can be treated to a certain extent.

As ADHD is a condition associated with the brain more than anything else, its origins and treatments are varied. ADHD manifests differently in children, with some having very minor symptoms, whereas others have ADHD combined with other psychological ailments, making their cases difficult to treat. There are many different causes of ADHD and researchers are still studying them.

The genetic factor

There is a strong genetic factor in ADHD. This does not mean, however, that all children of parents who have had ADHD will develop ADHD. It is just that it seems to run in families. Innumerable studies done on twins show that whether identical (92 percent) or non-identical (33 percent) if one twin has ADHD, it is more likely that the other one will too, percentage being higher in the case of identical twins who have the genetic blueprint.

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Studies have also been carried out on children who have been adopted and they show that again genes play a major role in ADHD. Genetic studies are also ongoing and they show a high probability that the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine play an important role in ADHD.

In the womb and outside

When the mother smokes during her pregnancy, drinks alcohol, has a substance abuse problem, is exposed to toxic chemicals or is malnourished, there are greater chances that the fetus will not develop properly and there in an increasing incidence of disorders like ADHD. Also when infants are exposed to toxic elements like pesticides and lead in old houses and paints, they are more likely to develop ADHD.

Brain injuries

Sometimes there may be brain injuries which may not even be diagnosed. This may happen in the womb and may not show any symptoms when the baby is born. During a delivery there may be pressure on the brain, a slight lack of oxygen or even a suction/forceps delivery which can lead to brain problems. Or there may be a stroke or other trauma to the brain which later presents as ADHD.

MRI and PET studies have shown that brain imaging of children with ADHD show up some abnormal patterns. A few children with ADHD may have a marginally smaller brain volume.

Food and diet

There are many myths regarding the diet of kids which may result in ADHD. However, the disorder is not cause by sugar or refined foods or even a poor diet. A nutritious and wholesome diet will cause better physical development and a poor diet will result in less than optimum physical and mental development.

There may be some link between a high intake of refined sugar and hyperactivity, but this is probably more due to the fact that sugar supplies instant energy. The role of preservatives, artificial colors and additives in food is being studied.

While there is no consensus on the various causes of ADHD, it is known that many factors in combination may result in ADHD. Depending on the severity of the disorder, it is also likely that some children do grow out of it as they mature. Others learn to cope with it and lead a normal life in adulthood.

About the Author: Andy Thompson has extensive information on health conditions as well as investigative health journalism on HealthLifeandStuff.

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