What causes ADHD?

Researchers haven’t discovered exactly what causes ADHD. But, like other mental and behavioral conditions, several factors are known to play a role.

  • Genetics – Just like hair type, eye color, and height, ADHD is considered an inherited trait passed from parent to child through genes. It’s likely that an individual diagnosed with ADHD has a parent, sibling, or another close relative with the condition. The majority of the time, when one identical twin has ADHD, the other does too.  And at least a third of all fathers who had ADHD in their youth have children with ADHD.
  • Pregnancy issues – Research shows that women who have difficult pregnancies are more likely to have a child with ADHD. This includes babies who are born premature, babies born at a low birth weight, and babies who suffer damage to the frontal lobe of the brain. Women who smoke or drink alcohol during their pregnancies may also be at higher risk for having a child with ADHD.
  • Abnormal brain development – Brain scans show differences in brain structure in individuals who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Development of certain areas of the brain, specifically those involved in executive function, are delayed by several years. These delays affect how well an individual is able to pay attention, switch focus, multitask, and manage impulses appropriately.
  • Environmental factors – While more research is needed, several studies have linked ADHD to environmental factors, including lead exposure. Everyday items including food additives, carpeting and flooring, cleaning and lawn solutions, and even hygiene products like toothpaste contain toxic chemicals that may interrupt brain development and contribute to ADHD.

Who is Eligible to Participate in an ADHD Study?

To qualify for the ADHD clinical research trial, you must be 18 years or older and have received an ADHD diagnosis by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or neurologist. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not eligible, nor are individuals who have a serious medical illness, cognitive impairment, or an acute or chronic infection. To be eligible, participants agree to receive therapies that are still in the experimental phase. All participants must be able to keep appointments for clinic visits and all related tests.

Reasons to participate in ADHD clinical trial in San Diego

There are many reasons to participate in an ADHD clinical trial. One of the biggest reasons individuals participate in clinical research studies is to play an active role in their own health. Other people participate because they have exhausted their treatment options and they want to help researchers find more effective solutions than what is currently available.

Participating in an ADHD clinical trial also allows you to be among the first to find out about new treatments before they are available to the public. Regardless of your motivation, your contribution to scientific discovery will help others suffering from ADHD and pave the way for future generations to lead healthier, happier lives.

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