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Posts Tagged ‘attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).’

HealthDay (4/19, Preidt, http://tinyurl.com/Adhd-Cause) reported that an interaction of genetics and environmental factors may be the cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.  A study of 304 youths found that ADHD symptoms were more common in children and teens with high or low activity levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin and who blame themselves for conflict between their parents.  “To date, studies have mostly focused on the effects of genetic and environmental influences on ADHD separately,” wrote Molly Nikolas, of Michigan State University, and colleagues.  “Our work examines the interaction between a specific gene variant and a family environmental risk factor in order to determine their roles in the development of ADHD via behavioral and emotional dysregulation in children.”  The genetic region examined by the researchers is 5HTTLPR, which is responsible for regulating the production of a protein that transports serotonin.  Previous studies have linked this area to a number of personality traits and neuropsychiatric disorders.  “Overall, these results complement growing evidence suggesting that 5HTTLPR variants confer a liability for ADHD that is activated in particular environments, rather than conferring risk for ADHD directly,” the researchers concluded.  The study was published April 15 in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions.

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The UK’s Telegraph (1/25, Devlin http://tinyurl.com/ambi-ADD) reports that ambidextrous children are twice as likely to be hyperactive as their classmates.  They are also twice as likely to suffer from language problems, such as dyslexia.  Scientists believe that differences in how the children’s brains work compared to others could link the problems, but admit they do not yet understand how.  Dr Alina Rodriguez, from Imperial College London, who led the study, said: “Our results should not be taken to mean that all children who are mixed-handed will have problems at school or develop ADHD.  “We found that mixed-handed children and adolescents were at a higher risk of having certain problems, but we’d like to stress that most of the mixed-handed children we followed didn’t have any of these difficulties.”  The study looked at almost 8,000 children, 87 of whom used both hands to write.  The researchers found that by the ages of seven or eight those children were twice as likely as their right-handed peers to have difficulties with language and to perform badly in school.  By the time they reached the age of 15 or 16 the teenagers were also as likely to suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Studies suggest that people who write with their right hand have a more dominant left half of their brain.  Some researchers believe that the chances of developing ADHD could be influenced by having a weaker functioning right hemisphere of the brain. 

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