What Are the Risk Factors for ADHD

What Are the Risk Factors for ADHD

What Are the Risk Factors for ADHD?

• Family and genetics. ADHD is linked to genetics. Carriers of LPHN3 and CDHI3 gene polymorphic variants have an increased risk of ADHD. In studies of twins, having one twin with ADHD increased the risk of the other twin having ADHD by 70–80%. Children with a parent with ADHD have a 57% greater chance of having it as well.

• Alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of giving birth to a child with ADHD. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that fosters communication between the neurons in the brain. Alcohol reduces dopamine production in the fetal brain, which increases the risk of ADHD during childhood. Any amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus. Unfortunately, this concept is still not widely accepted.

• Premature infants. A preterm baby has a higher risk of ADHD. Babies that are severely underweight or overweight at birth have an elevated risk of ADHD. Insufficient blood perfusion in certain regions of the brain is common in children with ADHD. Those regions of the brain that are not adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients are often the same regions that control behavior and attention.

• Abused children. About 30% of ADHD adults are physically or sexually abused during childhood. Whether childhood abuse leads to ADHD or deviated behavior associated with ADHD increases a child's chance of being abused is still an open question.