What Are the Causes of ADHD?


Quick Answer

According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists are unsure of the exact cause of ADHD, but studies indicate that genes play a major role in its development. Environmental factors, nutrition, brain injuries and a person's social environment may also contribute to the development of ADHD.

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Full Answer

According to Court Appointed Special Advocates of Arizona, ADHD does not develop due to poor parenting, family problems, consuming too much sugar or watching too much television; however, there is a link between cigarette smoking, drug abuse or alcohol use during pregnancy and ADHD in children, notes the National Institutes of Health. High exposure to lead and other environmental toxins are also possible causes.

The symptoms of ADHD generally develop between ages 3 and 6, explains the NIH, and the disorder can be difficult to diagnose since many children in this age group act impulsively and get easily distracted. Parents and teachers are generally first to notice the symptoms, but a licensed health practitioner must evaluate the child and gather information about his behavior and environment before making a diagnosis. As of 2014, there are many treatments available that relieve the symptoms of ADHD and researchers are continuing to develop even more treatments, but no cure is available for the disorder.

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