Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

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

ADHD and Risky Behavior in Adults

When Amanda, 30, was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago, she began to understand the risk-taking that had marked her teens and twenties: the drug abuse, binge drinking, and casual sex with numerous men who had flirted with her in bars.   She couldn’t put the brakes on those intensely exciting experiences, but she also despaired that her life was out of control. “Before I was diagnosed, I was depressed a lot because I just didn’t understand what was wrong,” says the Baltimore resident, whose last...

Read the ADHD and Risky Behavior in Adults 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

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 02, 2012
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.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Justin Timberlake
Slideshow
brain food
SLIDESHOW
 
Man distracted while working
Assessment
young man holding book
Article
 

concentration killers
SLIDESHOW
Woman taking a vitamin or supplement
Article
 
ADHD and Substance Abuse
Article
Reduce Side Effects ADHD Medications
Article
 

young man with head in hands
Evaluator
smiling man
Article
 
ADHD in Marriage and Romantic Relationships
Article
Adult man lying awake in bed
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections