Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Can ADHD be Inherited?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, can effect a person’s attention, behavior and learning ability. The disorder seems to impair neurotransmitters in four different regions of the brain. 

In reference to ADDitude, Inside the ADHD Mind,  researchers suspect a gene is involved in the creation of dopamine, or lack thereof, which may be traced to the effects of ADHD. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain that can affect a person’s mood, learning and concentration. Although experts can not be sure exactly what causes ADHD, those with a parent or sibling with the condition are at greater risk. 

Can a Brain Scan Help Diagnose ADHD? -American Health Imaging
Researchers believe a combination of genetic, environmental and social factors contribute to the latency of ADHD. To continue the research, scientists evaluated DNA in search of variations contributing to ADHD. Researchers studying ADHD believe more than on gene is associated with the disorder due to its complexity. In 2018, a global team of researchers completed a study where they discovered genetic variations that accounted for about 22% of the risk for ADHD. For further information, the study can be read at Nature’s Genetics.

According to the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, a study from 2016 reports 9.4% of children between the ages of 2 and 17 years of age, received an ADHD diagnosis. That equals approximately 6.1 million children in the United States. I knew ADHD was common, but the numbers from this study were shocking to me. With a disorder being so substantially common, it’s hard to believe scientists, researchers or doctors still don’t know what causes it. Oddly enough, this article ties into our lecture today because if researchers believe more than one gene is linked to the affects of ADHD, it would make sense for genes to be linked or how crossing-over plays a role in the diagnosis of ADHD. 


  1. I find this article to be very interesting because it is so relevant to daily life. My best friend has ADHD and recently they found out that her sibling does as well. After reading this, I could see how genetics, environment, and social factors have an effect on ADHD. Prior to this, I was unaware of the complexity of the disorder and its many locations in different genes. I also didn't know ADHD had to do with neurotransmitters, specifically Dopamine, I always thought it was a direct problem with the learning area of the brain.

  2. I never knew that ADHD was something that was genetically transmitted. Its good that we are getting closer to finding more genetic variations that increase the risk of having ADHD, but its pretty shocking that 6.1 million children in the US are diagnosed and we will still are not sure what is really causing ADHD. Its also interesting to me that they theorizes dopamine may be involved in having ADHD because when I hear dopamine I think of the "happiness hormone," I had no idea it had to do with a persons learning and concentration.

  3. A lot of ADHD medications that are found to be affective affect serotonin and it’s release in the brain. I find it fascinating that there are other external factors that come into play. Just like how memory can be improved a little solely by challenging it every day. If they do find its gene and are able to correct it, would there be potential to cause over expression? Almost like the genetic variant to the use of ADHD medications.