ADHD: Causes

A whole set of different factors can encourage the development of ADHD, with genetic predisposition (heredity) playing a particularly important role.

Proven Causes of ADHD:

  • High hereditary (genetic) influence
  • Environmental factors
  • Structural and functional changes in certain areas of the brain
  • A disturbance in the neurotransmission area

Genetic causes of ADHD

The most important cause of ADHD is genetic predisposition. ADHD can be "inherited."
Interesting facts about ADHD and inheritance:

  • Identical twins are both affected by ADHD in about 60-80% of cases – dizygotic twins have ADHD in only about 35% of cases.
  • First-degree relatives (father, mother, children) are three to five times more likely to also suffer from ADHD.

Environmental Influences
as Causes of ADHD

In addition to genetic factors, environmental influences (outside influences) also have a role to play in the emergence of ADHD:

  • Premature birth
  • Birth complications
  • Drug and nicotine consumption during pregnancy

In addition, certain factors/aspects have a negative effect on the progress of ADHD and/or the symptoms:

  • Increased level of media use or television consumption
  • Living in a major city without freedom and no space for movement

Parenting style and the parent-child relationship can also be significant for the progression of ADHD.

Changed brain structure
and function

Modern imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer tomography (CT) have made it possible to investigate brain structure and -function in ADHD patients.

The result: ADHD primarily affects areas of the brain that play a role in behaviour control and attention.

Disturbance in the Neurotransmission Area

With ADHD, the balance in messenger substances in the brain (neurotransmitters) is altered. Dopamine and noradrenaline play a role in this respect, causing a lack of self-control and impaired attention.

Good to know: Medications to combat ADHD can be used to regulate these out-of-balance messenger substances.