ADHD - Poss. Genetic Link Found


Scientists discover possible genetic links to ADHD - full article at:

"Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered possible genetic links to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD in children. If so, it could help lift the stigma faced by parents by those who claim ADHD is the result of poor diet and bad parenting.

ADHD is diagnosed as children who are 'excessively restless, impulsive and distractible, and experience difficulties at home and in school.'

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Writing in the medical journal The Lancet, Dr. Nigel M. Williams of the Cardiff School of Medicine found that children who were diagnosed with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of their DNA missing or duplicated than those who did not suffer from the hyperactivity disorder.

Scientists also discovered genetic variants similar to those found in autism and schizophrenia, "proving strong evidence that ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder -- in other words, that the brains of children with the disorder differ from those of other children."


Can I just add a caveat to this story which was on the news here in the UK last week: the sample was incredibly small and only 57 of the 366 children with ADHD were found to have this genetic variant.


(from the article)

They discovered that 15% of those in the ADHD group had "large and rare variations in their DNA," versus just 7% in the control group.
The most affected area was found on chromosome 16, which has previously linked to psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia.
"We hope that these findings will help overcome the stigma associated with ADHD," Cardiff University Professor Anita Thapar said in a statement

The article said the most affected chromosome 16 linked with ADHD is also associated with psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. Talk about stigma! Mental illnesses typically carries far more stigma than ADHD. (Not that there should be, but there is.)

Also only 15% of the people with ADHD in the study had that different DNA, (compared to 7% of the control non-ADHD group.) If only 15% in this study showed that genetic difference, it means they didn't find the link 85% of the people diagnosed with ADHD. The people with ADHD were about twice as likely to carry those genetic, but most people with ADHD did not carry them.

I wonder if there's something else associated with the genetics besides ADHD and mental illness and autism that they didn't examine (or that the article didn't mention) that might account for the 15% and 7% of people studied with those genetic differences. There probably is a genetic link between brain stucture and certain behavioral traits, but I have some questions about the conclusions this particular article mentions about this particular study.


Genetics is the new "The Devil made me do it" argument.


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