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genetic research into ADHD
Posted On 30/09/2010 16:15:10 by administrator

We all woke up this morning to the media and newspapers informing us in no uncertain terms, that ADHD is a genetic disorder!

Well, well,  well!!

First of all tell us something that we don’t know – yes it has been long established that there are patterns of ADHD in family groups – is that genetic? Or is it perhaps an inherited hypersensitivity to additives in diet ? Or even perhaps learned behaviours?

What about the research findings earlier this year that had us all believing that  ADHD was down to pesticides? As the urine samples from children with ADHD had significantly higher concentrations of pesticides than the urine samples of children without ADHD!

And whilst we are on the subject, what about the research from Australia  a few months ago that said that 1 in 3 children with ADHD were misdiagnosed – who tested the sample groups of ADHD  for the latest genetic research then and how robust is this research if 1 in 3 of those diagnoses were incorrect.

So let’s look at how this story has been reported so far:

The sun says: “The behaviour of children with the disorder can be explained by differences in the brain rather than parenting skills or diet.”

Well, we may ask?  what about the 33% that have been misdiagnosed and do present these symptoms due to diet or parenting skills etc?

So what does the Guardian have to say about all of this then?

“the particular DNA markers they (the scientists)found are in the same area of the brain as genetic variants linked to autism and schizophrenia”

Interesting , when there is no single  explanation for the causes of either autism or schizophrenia.  It is also interesting to trawl through the origins of the Wellcome Trust who funded the research undertaken at Cardiff. Check out Wikipedia for example and ask yourselves how much this organisation has been able to divest itself of any influences from the pharmaceutical industry in light of its early origins?

Some coverage even incorrectly implies that this is the first evidence of a genetic link with ADHD and that the study rules out a role for any non-genetic factors in ADHD.


NHS choices writes:

“The causes of ADHD are not known, but both genetic and environmental factors are considered to play a role. It is important to note that this study does not rule out a role for other genetic factors in ADHD, nor for environmental factors”


What we do know now however is that a genetic predisposition is not generating a victim legacy in the next generation but a potential trigger which can be turned on by an environmental factor

So what’s new then? It would seem that the reporting of research findings into ADHD is more controversial than the condition itself!!!


Tags: ADHD Genetics