Last week, a new study emerged showing that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — or ADHD — are twice as likely to have missing or extra chromosomes than other children. This is the first concrete evidence that the disorder is genetic, and not simply a figment of parents' imaginations or a means to explain away a child's naughty behavior.
Bad parenting, bad kids and bad diet were the three most common environmental factors that have often been associated with ADHD. But in previous experiments, when each of these factors has been addressed and changed to treat the condition, little good has come of it.
The fact of the matter is that many children with ADHD have stable relationships with parents, eat a wholesome diet and are well behaved generally. But they remain unable to concentrate and focus on specific tasks. Still, the stigma remains that ADHD is overdiagnosed in kids who are just going through behavioral or environmental issues.
So the fact that researchers have finally been able to link a genetic component to ADHD is big news for sufferers and their families. Hopefully, it means that these families will have to spend less time explaining their children's behavior and more time finding ways to identify and maybe even cure their condition.