Genetic ADHD From Being A Child To Adulthood

While some children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) grow out of the condition while entering adulthood, there are others who keep fighting with the condition well into their adult life. The scientists at the University College London, United Kingdom, wanted to understand the rationale behind the two dissimilar outcomes.

They strongly believe the answer may lie in human genes. Jean-Baptiste Pingault and team studied nearly 8,400 twins with ADHD. Their study, which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, showed whether ADHD symptoms improve or worsen with time depends more on genes rather than treatment.

ADHD Statistics in USA
Current ADHD Prevalence in the United States of America. Download Infographic

The twins, who were studied, were all born between 1994 and 1996. Their parents rated their symptoms using Conner’s Parent Rating Scale-Revised at different stages of their life, starting from age 8 and continuing up until the age of 16. The researchers analyzed these data and found out that, at the beginning (child at the age of 8) the average hyperactivity score was 6.0 while the average inattention score was 5.8. The average hyperactivity score decreased to 2.9 by the time children were 16 years old. On the other hand, the average inattention score moved slightly from its previous position. This time the average was 4.9.

The average hyperactivity score decreased to 2.9 by the time children were 16 years old. On the other hand, the average inattention score moved slightly from its previous position. This time the average was 4.9. The average hyperactivity score decreased to 2.9 by the time children were 16 years old. On the other hand, the average inattention score moved slightly from its previous position. This time the average was 4.9.

Using this analysis and studying the genetic pattern of the ADHD subjects, the researchers found out that the two symptoms, namely hyperactivity and inattention, are controlled by different genes. The continuation of hyperactivity symptoms well into adult life depends on the combination of two or more genes, whereas persistence of inattention depends upon one dominant gene.

The researchers are now focusing on developing a predictive model using the new found knowledge, to determine why ADHD symptoms decrease or increase over time. The researchers believe that the experiment may open doors for developing a more effective genetic test for ADHD in adults and would help doctors to prescribe targeted treatment and behavioral therapies to help tackle ADHD.

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