We Don’t Know if ADHD is Genetic Disorder or Environmentally Caused or Both
A new ADHD genetic research study has found direct evidence linking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to genetics. Many mental health studies are being conducted in genetics and this latest research is studying the genetic link between ADHD and DNA. I have posted several articles on genetics and mental illness. One article claims that environmental stressors can change the DNA in a fetus that is exposed to environmental stressors. These stressors impact the cells and have the ability to turn off certain genes making someone predisposed to anxiety. Another study has implied that certain genetic mutations can cause depression. There are many studies that are discovering the biological causes for mental illness as well; these have been posted on this site as well.
Is ADHD a genetic disorder? Having an ancestor with a particular mental illness does not necessarily imply that a family member with the same mental illness has inherited the disease. We often have to distinguish a causal relationship from a correlation, or even environmental factors. A family history of ADHD does put someone at a higher risk, yet these familial relationships are not always strictly implied, especially with our new findings of the possible etiologies of these illnesses.
If ADHD is a Genetic Disorder, How Did the First Ancestor Acquire ADHD
What was the cause of the illness in the ancestor that passed this gene along? Somewhere in the family of origin somebody had to be first to introduce this illness to the family gene pool and this introduction was therefore not genetic in nature. Mental illness can be brought about by environmental stress, toxins, external forces causing genetic mutations, trauma to the brain. As you can see, there are a myriad of reasons why someone can develop a mental illness. If the ADHD was introduced to the family gene pool from an external source or genetic mutation; wouldn’t it make sense that the same conditions could hold? The progress that is being made in genetics and mental illness is fascinating and offers the possibility of actually curing mental illness in the future, as well as offering better treatment as well. Genetic engineering might be the next break-through in mental health.
The recent study of the genetic link to ADHD was conducted by a team of British scientists who mapped the genes of over 1,400 children. These researchers discovered that children with ADHD were more likely to have small pieces of their DNA missing or duplicated. These abnormalities were located in the same region of the brain where schizophrenia is believed to develop as well as autism, which further contributed to the belief that ADHD is a neuro-developmental condition. Other studies have suggested that inheriting a DAT1 10 allele causes the brain to produce excess quantities of dopamine transporters, which results in less dopamine signaling between neurons.