Skip to content

ADD & ADHD Health Center

Font Size

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Cause

The exact cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn't known. But it may run in families. Ongoing research is focused on finding the genes that cause a person to be likely to get ADHD.

A mother's use of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may increase the risk for ADHD. Also, exposure to lead may cause symptoms linked with ADHD.1

Recommended Related to ADD-ADHD

Adult ADHD and Your Relationships

Does your husband complain that you never listen? Does your wife say she feels like you’re just one more child in the house? Have your friends lost patience with your chronic lateness? Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be to blame. Although ADHD is thought of as a childhood problem, experts believe it can linger into adulthood in the majority of cases diagnosed in children. And if you don’t know you have the condition, it could be wreaking havoc on your relationships. You might...

Read the Adult ADHD and Your Relationships article > >

Although many parents believe that foods with sugar and food additives make their children more hyperactive, these foods haven't been shown to cause ADHD.2

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Post it notes
    Symptoms and treatments.
    Close up of eye
    What's zapping your focus?
     
    man driving car
    How to manage your impulses.
    Woman shopping for vitamins at drugstore
    Should you take them?
     
    concentration killers
    SLIDESHOW
    Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
    Article
     
    ADHD and Substance Abuse
    Article
    Reduce Side Effects ADHD Medications
    Article
     

    boy eating egg
    Video
    smiling man
    Article
     
    ADHD in Marriage and Romantic Relationships
    Article
    Adult man lying awake in bed
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections