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'ADHD genetic link' discovered in UK study

30th September 2010

UK scientists have discovered the first direct genetic link for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Research published in the Lancet by Cardiff University's Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute claimed that small segments of DNA are more likely to be duplicated or missing in children with the condition.

The study also found that these segments have a 'significant overlap' with the genetic variants suspected of being involved in autism and schizophrenia, which suggests ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder.

Anita Thapar, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Cardiff University, said that many people assume ADHD is a result of bad parenting or a poor diet.

'Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children,' she added.

Last month, a Cardiff University project examined how the brains of people with autism respond differently to the sense of touch in a bid to improve understanding and treatment of the disorder.
 

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