The Genes of ADHD
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genes of ADHD

Everyday scientists are uncovering genetic variations that may explain why some people have certain diseases. One study focused on ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Because scientists now have access to a lot of DNA, they can compare genetic sequences to find what’s different.

For this study, the genomes of twenty thousand people with ADHD were compared to thirty five thousand who do not have the disease. They found twelve areas of genetic variation linked to ADHD. So, the more of these gene variants that a person has, the more likely they’ll have ADHD characteristics. For example, some of variants affect signaling pathways that normally allow brain cells to communicate with one another. If the variants result in interruptions to that communication, it may explain the brain changes we see.

Another group of genes play a role in language and learning. Also, people with ADHD may be inattentive and impulsive. Maybe not surprisingly, these gene variants also overlapped with those that affect educational performance.

Overall, this genomic study sheds light on the biology of the disease and may help provide new clues on how to help people with ADHD. It also may quiet the criticism by some groups that these kids shouldn’t be medicated or can be fixed with a diet change.

We now know mental disorders are increasingly associated with multiple genetic variations, making the genetic risk seventy five percent. Making sense of this genetic information is the first step toward developing solutions for those who suffer.

For more information…

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