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What causes ADHD?

ANSWER

The cause of ADHD isn't known. Researchers say several things may lead to it, including:

  • Heredity. ADHD tends to run in families.
  • Chemical imbalance. Brain chemicals in people with ADHD may be out of balance.
  • Brain changes. Areas of the brain that control attention are less active in children with ADHD.
  • Poor nutrition, infections, smoking, drinking, and substance abuse during pregnancy. These things can affect a baby's brain development.
  • Toxins, such as lead. They may affect a child's brain development.
  • A brain injury or a brain disorder. Damage to the front of the brain, called the frontal lobe, can cause problems with controlling impulses and emotions.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "ADHD: What Parents Should Know."

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources: "Behavioral Treatment for ADHD."

CHADD: "Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

National Resource Center on ADHD: "Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder."

News release, FDA.

FDA: “FDA permits marketing of first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on March 25, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "ADHD: What Parents Should Know."

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources: "Behavioral Treatment for ADHD."

CHADD: "Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

National Resource Center on ADHD: "Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder."

News release, FDA.

FDA: “FDA permits marketing of first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on March 25, 2019

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Can ADHD be prevented or cured?

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