No one knows exactly what causes ADHD, but certain things are known to play a role.
The Family Connection
If a parent has ADHD, a child has more than a 50% chance of having it. If an older sibling has it, a child has more than a 30% chance.
Children born with a low birth weight, born premature, or whose mothers had difficult pregnancies have a higher risk of having ADHD. The same is true for children with head injuries to the frontal lobe of the brain, the area that controls impulses and emotions.
Researchers believe that some toxins may interfere with brain development. That, they say, could lead to hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and trouble paying attention.
What Doesn’t Cause ADHD
Although it’s been debated, research does not show that ADHD is linked to eating too much sugar or watching a lot of TV.
What Goes On in the Brain
Studies show that brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, don’t work the same in children and adults with ADHD. There also tend to be differences in the way nerve pathways work.