We have been delivering a lot of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) awareness courses recently and it has been interesting chatting to professionals about their opinions on ADHD.
There still seems to be a lot of scepticism around the cause of ADHD and whether it is over diagnosed. ADHD is a very common disorder with surveys of children between the ages of 5 and 15 years finding that 3.62% of boys and 0.85% of girls have ADHD¹.
Although it was only in 1987 that the diagnosis of ADHD was officially added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, difficulties with attention and hyperactivity in children have been acknowledged since the early 1900’s (e.g Hyperkinetic Impulse disorder). Yet the ADHD is still a fairly misunderstood condition.
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but it has been shown to run in families. Research has also identified a number of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD compared to those who don’t have the condition.
Factors such as premature birth, low birthweight and smoking, alcohol or drug abuse by the mother during pregnancy have been suggested as potentially having a role in ADHD. Many people still feel its linked to nutrition, parenting or just lack of discipline within society but we know for sure these are not the cause they may be factors that increase the symptoms but there is known to be biological differences in individuals with ADHD.
Levels of dopamine and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) have been shown to be lower in those with ADHD, See the video for more details.