3
How Does a Child Get ADHD?

ADHD most likely results from a variety of sources, including genes and the environment. Genes are made of DNA; DNA provides the “codes” for all aspects of human behavior. DNA can include codes for disorders as well, such as ADHD or cancer. Genes may influence how a body responds to an environmental stress, which in turn leads to a disorder. The end result may be specific damage to nerve cells in a brain area and abnormal brain functioning. We do not currently know exactly how an individual child develops ADHD. We cannot point to one gene, or one environmental moment, and say “that caused ADHD.”

Therefore, in this chapter, we will discuss the risk for ADHD, given the influence of genes and the influence of the environment. Because we do not know the exact cause, we cannot talk about the cause of ADHD, only risk factors, which may increase the likelihood of having ADHD. We will also discuss environmental factors that do not appear to directly increase the risk for ADHD.


INCREASED RISK FOR ADHD BASED ON FAMILY HISTORY

We do know that ADHD runs in families at an unusually high rate. A child with ADHD is more likely to have a relative with ADHD than another child who does not have ADHD. A disorder that runs in families (occurs in a

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ADHD
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1- What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd)? 1
  • 2- How Is Adhd Diagnosed? 17
  • 3- How Does a Child Get Adhd? 31
  • 4- The Process of Drug Development 39
  • 5- Treatment of Adhd 47
  • 6- Complications and Associations with Adhd 67
  • 7- How Adhd Affects the Family 83
  • 8- Clinical and Scientific Research in Adhd 87
  • 9- Conclusions 99
  • Appendix A- A Look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd) 103
  • Appendix B- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 109
  • Glossary 135
  • References 139
  • Index 145
  • About the Author 149
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