Is ADHD Hereditary?
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, is a behavioral disorder that makes it hard for people possessing it to control or regulate their impulses, a feature referred to as hyperactivity.
Individuals with ADHD can understand instructions but suffer from deficits in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain that can inhibit their level of executive functioning.
The disorder is found more in boys than in girls. It is a childhood disorder that can carry forward into adulthood.
The disorder is diagnosed after careful evaluation of a person’s behavior. Extensive behavioral information is gathered from multiple sources closest to the subject such as parents, teachers, and other prominent caregivers. This information is then used to analyze an individual with suspected ADHD.
Once ADHD has been detected, immediate medication and therapy is recommended. The medication is considered to be more efficient than the therapy sessions, but they are often used in conjunction.
Children below five years should not be given medication treatment. If one of the treatment measures seems ineffective, a combination of treatments is recommended.
Research has proven that ADHD is likely very heritable, because it tends to runs in families. For example, if parents possess the disorder, there is a 75% chance that their children will have ADHD too.
In addition, twins have a higher probability of being diagnosed with ADHD than a single child. If one identical twin possesses ADHD, the other twin has a seventy five percent chance of having ADHD too.
Based on neuroimaging results of the human brain, the prefrontal cortex that regulates executive functioning is literally smaller and less developed than non-ADHD brains.
Also, brain tissue thickness may play a role. Individuals who have thinner brain tissues have a higher likelihood of developing ADHD than those with thick brain tissues.
Researchers are currently working to identify the specific genes or gene mutations responsible for ADHD and other genetic factors that make people susceptible to the condition.
It is complex because, apart from simple factors of inheritance, there is still a large number of unanswered questions surrounding the condition.
Unfortunately, parents have little control over passing hereditary factors to their children. Therefore, it is important to inform your pediatrician about your family’s history of the disorder so that your child’s behavior can be monitored. This way, if the child possesses the disorder, necessary treatment can begin immediately.