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.
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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.