Research Establishing ADHD as a Genetic Disorder Could Lead to Better Treatments

Added by on September 30, 2010

A research study at the Cardiff University establishes the first evidence that ‘Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder’ (ADHD) is genetic in nature and might have less to do with bad parental guidance during childhood or high sugar diets.

Gene maps of over 1,400 children were studied during this research effort and direct links to ADHD were found.

Ritalin (photograph)

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The research team at Cardiff compared the genomes of 366 children affected with ADHD to those of 1,047 children not having ADHD. This revealed that overlap between copy number variants (CNVs) that are duplicated or deleted DNAs, was much more common in ADHD affected children and makes them more susceptible to schizophrenia and autism. The results have been published in The Lancet medical journal.

ADHD is common among children, especially among boys, and about 3 to 5 percent children across the globe are affected by this neural disorder. This leads to lapse in concentration, restlessness and impulsive behavior often landing up children in trouble at school and home.

Though there is no particular cure for this disease, several companies produce drugs which can keep the symptoms under control. Ritalin from Novartis, Concerta from Johnson & Johnson, Adderall and Vyvanse from Shire and Strattera from Eli Lilly are the better known drugs for ADHD.

Worldwide, ADHD drugs were sold to the extent of $4 billion in 2009. The extensive research which reveals the true reasons for ADHD is believed to help development of more effective drugs.

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