Many parents have children with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. For those of you that do, let's just say that at the risk of embarrasing anyone, I know some people very well who struggle with ADD, so I sympathize.
A new study done by Cardiff University researchers, and reported in The Lancet, show a direct genetic link to ADHD and differences in brain development. Scientists at Cardiff University show for the first time that "a direct link has been found between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and differences in brain development as displayed in autism and other disorders."
Scientists carried out a study of 1400 children, and hope the results help parents beat the myth that ADHD is merely a behavior problem, or just poor parenting.
The study shows that "the risk of having a certain set of genetic variants was twice as high among children diagnosed with ADHD compared with children who did not have it."
Good news, and bad news for parents: It's genetic, so it's not entirely your fault; but since it's known to be passed on genetically, or have a high "heritable." Have you or your spouse noticed that maybe you might have some of the same symptoms your kids display? Hmmmm.
More from the Cardiff University article:
The researchers found that rare CNVs were almost twice as common in children with ADHD compared to the control sample – and even higher for children with learning difficulties. CNVs are particularly common in disorders of the brain.
There was also significant overlap between CNVs identified in children with ADHD and regions of the genome which are known to influence susceptibility to autism and schizophrenia. Whilst these disorders are currently thought to be entirely separate, there is some overlap between ADHD and autism in terms of symptoms and learning difficulties. This new research suggests there may be a shared biological basis to the two conditions.