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Q. Are you aware of any studies that link ADHD to genetics or even to Autism?

A. Results from studies at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom suggest there may be links between ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and genetics. The child of a parent with ADHD is more likely to have the condition than a child of a parent without ADHD; and if one of a set of identical twins has ADHD, the other twin has a 75% chance of having ADHD. Children with ADHD were more likely to have small DNA segments duplicated or missing as compared with controls. Researchers found significant overlap between these segments, or copy number variations (CNVs), and those linked to autism and schizophrenia. With both ADHD and Autism, the most significant overlap of segments, or copy number variations (CNVs), was found at a specific region on chromosome 16. Conclusions indicate that ADHD is likely caused by a number of genetic changes, including CNVs, interacting with as yet unidentified environmental factors that may involve epigenetics; and that ADHD is better considered as a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism rather than as a behavioral problem.

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