Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,Brain,Poverty,Attention,Diagnosis,Disease

ADHD is a brain disorder, not a label for poor parenting, say scientists

February 16, 2017

ADHD is a brain disorder and should not be used as a convenient label for difficult children or poor parenting, the first major physical study of the condition has concluded. Researchers analysed the brain volumes of more than 3,200 people and noticed that those of patients with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) were underdeveloped in five key regions. Areas governing emotion and motivation were found to be smaller than in the general population, regardless of whether the participants were taking brain medication. The scientists behind the study, which is published in the Lancet, say their findings prove for the first time that the common condition has a physical cause. Approximately one in 20 children under the age of 18 - about 400,000 - are affected by the disorder, which is characterised by impulsive behaviour, inattention and hyperactivity. Two thirds of children affected continue to experience symptoms in adulthood. Last year a separate study found the condition was being vastly over-diagnosed and often used as a slapdash term for a collection of behavioural problems, as well as simple immaturity. Researchers have...

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