A recent study has revealed that ADHD is actually a genetic condition. This discovery was made by researchers from the Medical Research Council Centre in Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology at Cardiff University in Wales, in the UK. Genealogists who have been working on the genetic genealogy of their family may want to take a closer look at their ancestors, to see if any of them had ADHD. If so, it is possible that other members of your family may carry the genes for this disorder.
ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is something that seems to run in families. Children with this disorder tend to be fidgety, to have low impulse control, and to be very easily distracted. There are adults with ADHD as well. People who have ADHD can find help with the symptoms of this condition through prescription medication, and through behavioral intervention therapies. While it is possible to reduce the symptoms of ADHD, there is no cure available.
In the past, people have believed that ADHD was “caused” when a child had too much sugar in his or her diet. Others have suggested that the reason why a child has ADHD is entirely because that child's parents were too permissive, that the parents failed to discipline their child properly, or even that it was due to the parents neglecting the child. This new study reveals that people who have ADHD are more likely to have missing DNA segments, (when compared with a control group who did not have ADHD), and they may also have DNA segments that were duplicated.
A parent who has ADHD is more likely to have a child with ADHD than a parent who does not have this disorder would be. If a child has ADHD, that child's identical twin has a 75% chance of also having the disorder. The implication is that this disorder is genetically inherited. Genealogists may want to take another look at their ancestors to see if there is ADHD in their family tree.