How Do You Get ADHD?

There has been a lot of research done on how exactly you get ADHD, and it is now known that genetics is at least part of the reason. Currently, research shows that at least 30%-40% of individuals with ADHD have a family member that deals with the same kinds of issues. But this does not mean that the whole family will be affected by these issues. It appears through findings that only one member of a family will be affected by ADHD.

There are still many different theories as to what exactly causes ADHD. For many years, it was thought that ADHD was caused by some kind of brain damage. It is now thought that it is caused by brain chemistry. Researchers have been looking specifically at neurotransmitters as the cause of ADHD. Examples of neurotransmitters that could be affected by this disorder are dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. Because people in families tend to have similar brain wirings, it makes sense that ADHD would be at least partly genetic.

Other theories that have been investigated are that ADHD could also be caused by some sort of illness or accident that caused damage to the brain. This could include complications that occur during pregnancy such as drugs used to prevent infectious diseases, overexposure to radiation or a complicated delivery. Other causes could be the use of alcohol during pregnancy.

Many have questioned whether nutritional deficiencies have any link to ADHD. While it has not been ruled out, I highly doubt that a particular deficiency would cause this disorder. While it is true that certain nutritional deficiencies will cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD, there is no proof or scientific evidence that a link exists. Research experts in autism and other behavior disorders have looked for a nutritional link as well, but none exists. There has been some evidence that the Feingold diet may help diminish symptoms of ADHD, though.

Since the diagnosis of ADHD has become so much more common in recent years, it is often that an older family member will get diagnosed while bringing their son or daughter in to get tested. This may provide some relief to individuals who weren't sure exactly why they were the way they were. Some may decide to go on medication upon diagnosis, and some may not. But often the late diagnosis does explain some part of the individual's life that did not make sense before.

If there are not members in a family that have ADHD per se, there may be other similar disorders. Although there is not a formal link between autism and ADHD, there are similarities and the two disorders tend to run together. Someone may have autism or Asperger's in your family background. Also, someone may have bipolar or OCD; these are mainly brain based disorders that have been loosely linked to ADHD and are sometimes co-morbid.

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