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ADHD Genetics

October 13, 2010

Researchers have identified several genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Are genes behind ADHD? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is known to run in families—children that have it are likely to have a parent with it, and if one identical twin has ADHD, the other is likely to as well. But now a study in the journal Lancet has more direct evidence that the condition is genetic. The research shows that children with ADHD are more likely to have missing or duplicated DNA segments than are kids without the condition. And the segments affected are the same ones implicated in other neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.

In other ADHD news, scientists writing in the journal Pediatrics found that the condition may have environmental causes, too: children with higher levels of pesticides in their blood are also more likely to have ADHD. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.