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The genetics of ADHD

Fergus Walsh | 09:31 UK time, Thursday, 30 September 2010

There is a danger of reading too much into new research in the Lancet on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The headline of the Lancet press release says: "Study is the first to find direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder". One of the authors, Professor Anita Thapar is quoted as saying: "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children".

That's that then. Or perhaps not. Because those bold claims do not seem to be borne out by the actual research paper. The study analysed DNA from 366 children with ADHD and 1,047 controls. They found that those with ADHD were twice as likely to have chunks of DNA missing or duplicated, areas known as copy number variants. This genetic variation was also found to be more common in brain disorders.

I have done the sums and around 15% of the ADHD children had the genetic variant and about 7% of the control group did not. Put that another way, it affected one in seven of the ADHD group and one in 14 of those without.

That also means that seven out of eight of the ADHD group did not have the genetic variant - which hardly justifies Professor Thapar's confident assertion that ADHD is a genetic disease. I put this to Professor Thapar and she was keen to stress that she was not asserting that genes alone were responsible for ADHD but rather a complex mix of genes and environmental factors.

On the Today programme, the clinical psychologist Oliver James tore into the research and made accusations of "massive spin".

Professor Thapar said that ADHD could not be dismissed as being down to bad parenting or poor diet. She hoped the research would remove the stigma associated with the condition. The trouble with the Lancet press release is it appears to remove parenting and the environment from the equation; something which Professor Thapar told me was not her intention.

Professor Tim Kendall a consultant psychiatrist and a leading expert on ADHD, was also troubled by bold assertions which labelled the condition as genetic. He said there was a danger that giving a biological explanation to ADHD would encourage clinicians to rely on a biological answer, namely drugs like Ritalin. Just two years ago doctors were urged by NICE not to rely on Ritalin alone. Support and training for parents and teachers were flagged up as of key importance in helping children control the condition.

Professor Kendall also gave a long list of environmental factors which he said can increase the risk of ADHD: smoking during pregnancy, pre-natal stress, abuse during childhood, marital breakdown and poverty. He also pointed to twin studies and other research which suggested a genetic element to the condition.

Like many disorders, there is no simple cause behind ADHD. Simply blaming poor parenting is surely as bad as saying it's all down to our genes. Parents of children with ADHD would prefer help rather than labels.

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  • 1. At 11:25am on 30 Sep 2010, knellerman wrote:

    Why does everything in this debate have to be in black and white.

    All the research has established is that there is a genetic link in SOME cases of ADHD.

    It is probable that ADHD is multi-causal. A bit like alcoholism where there is some evidence of a genetic predisposition but it can also be brought on by emotional problems, PTSD, child abuse etc, etc.

    Truth is that ADHD and its bedfellow Austism result from an insult to the frontal cortex.

    I really object to Oliver James' pseudo-scientific approach to all of this. He claims that the diagnosis of ADHD is being encouraged by drug companies. But he fails to acknowledge that his own view on the subject helps to sell his books. Does he not have a vested interest too?

    If he is so convinced of his research, why does he not put up a paper for scientific review?

    I find the "spin" he puts on his point of view quite alarming.

    He said that one in three children with ADHD come from single parent families. How curious that if you have a child with ADHD or Autism, the chances of your marriage or relationship breaking down are three times that of other's.

    he also decries the fact that the use of Ritalin had grown considerably in recent years.

    Could this be because it, er, works?

    I was diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD at the age of 50. One child has Asperger's and ADHD and the other has ADHD.

    Despite me beating both of my children soundly twice each day (LOL) they could not control their behaviour at times of stress.

    Since taking Ritalin, they have become model students.

    And no, they have not been dumbed down as children. They are just able to regulate their brains uptake of dopamine more effectively.

    Some children respond with therapy and counselling, others do not. With some children ADHD can be more severe and less of a problem. If you have a child with ADHD who also has a naturally boisterous and gregarious nature, the problems can be magnified. But if your child has a "quieter" personality the problem can be less challenging.

    The truth is that no two ADHD children are alike. But Oliver James thinks that just by cuddling them a lot will present a solution to every single child. He is dangerous, IMO.



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  • 2. At 11:51am on 30 Sep 2010, Horse wrote:

    1. At 11:25am on 30 Sep 2010, knellerman wrote:

    Since taking Ritalin, they have become model students.

    And no, they have not been dumbed down as children. They are just able to regulate their brains uptake of dopamine more effectively.

    -----

    And yet , when i was in school, the teachers were strongly against the pupils taking mind altering substances - particularly in lesson time.

    How times change.

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  • 3. At 11:56am on 30 Sep 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 11:57am on 30 Sep 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:

    Apologies for the spelling above, Yes, my fault not my school teacher!

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  • 5. At 12:02pm on 30 Sep 2010, Paul wrote:

    Going from those results, it's clear that either the genetic variant is either not related to ADHD directly or that it is only a partial influence.

    The higher proportion of ADHD sufferers with the genetic variant could be explained by other effects (eg - maybe it makes people less capable parents, so children of those parents would also be more likely to have the gene, but the cause of the ADHD would still be 'nurture' rather than 'nature')

    The fact that a still large number of non-ADHD sufferers had the genetic variant (7% is too high a number for it to be called an 'abnormality') means that it's plainly obvious that that variant does not cause ADHD. Maybe the gene makes it slightly more likely that people will suffer from it (but even that's not clear from the study), but there must be other (probably environmental) factors as well.

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  • 6. At 12:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, swerdna wrote:

    I know two children from different families who suffer from ADHD and are on Ritalin. Both children also have signs of dyslexia and dyspraxia.

    From what i know of the families, there is no problem with bad parenting but the diet of these families is appalling. Not a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and absolutely no fish whatsoever.

    I heard the debate on these finding on Radio 4 this morning and felt that some of the findings were somewhat limited in scope. These researchers really should open out their research and look at a whole number of possible contributing causes to these distressing conditions that may be genetic but may also be environmental causes that create problems with certain individuals.

    I am aware that diet could be a factor with some children. The human diet should have a balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids of about 2:1. For many people in the West, the balance is nearer 20:1 (per an edition of the Radio 4 Food Programme last year). Could this be a contributing factor for some individuals?

    More research is needed and needed urgently.

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  • 7. At 12:06pm on 30 Sep 2010, Paul wrote:

    The only real way the study could give anything like a conclusive result would be for 2000 children to be taken away from their parents at birth and raised identically, with identical treatment by carers, identical diet etc.

    Of course, that isn't going to happen, but any other type of study can only be suggestive and not conclusive.

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  • 8. At 12:06pm on 30 Sep 2010, guscairns wrote:

    I literally cheered when Oliver James came on. I'm so glad Fergus Walsh has corrected the initially completely uncritical response to this study.

    James wasn't being 'black-and-white': on the contrary, he was pointing out that complex conditions like ADHD are multicausational.

    I think the above contributor was being 'black and white' in setting up an opposition between medication (ritalin) and support and counselling. As has been well established in studies of depression, both probably work better than one or the other.

    Yes, James pointed out that children of single moms are more likely to have ADHD and kids exposed to high serotonin levels in the womb also more likely. Compared with these, a set of genetic variants found in 15% of kids with ADHD looks like a pretty minor contributor to the syndrome.

    But I neither blame the scientists for hyping their study (well, not too much) nor people like knellerman above, who's had to struggle with it for so long, and probably has to endure 'bad parent' accusations.

    The people I really blame are the BBC news editors for letting a bunch of journalists loose on this story without getting in someone who understands science.

    Even after Oliver James pointed out to the presenters that the study didn't show that the genetic variants 'caused' ADHD, they (OK, I appreciate they're not the editors) were still reducing it to a question of whether "the gene caused ADHD" or not.

    In a complex condition like this, it's as nonsensical to say that a gene or genes 'cause' a condition as it is to say that eggs cause a cake.

    They are part of the recipe, as are environmental and psychological factors, not to say what the person with the condition makes of their life.

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  • 9. At 12:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, TheGraduate wrote:

    I had ADHD for about ten minutes, until my father gave a me a clip around the ear hole

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  • 10. At 12:21pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    The figures show an unusual genetic variation in 15% of kids with ADHD compared to 7% in the control group. What this very strongly suggests is that there is no link in 85% of diagnosed cases which probably ARE down to bad parenting etc while the condition is undiagnosed in many other cases.

    You get the same phenomena with dyslexia... you have a small group of people with a neurological disorder which genuinely means they cannot read well. However a large amount of basically thick kids (or rather their parents) have jumped on the bandwagon as a "medical syndrome" is a handy excuse for their kids performance.

    The real victims in this are the kids who genuinely suffer from the condition as they get tarred with the same brush as those kids who have no medical excuse for their behaviour.

    Incidentally there's a phenomena in medical genetics called 'Penetrance' The wikipedia definition of which reads "Penetrance in genetics is the proportion of individuals carrying a particular variation of a gene (allele or genotype) that also express an associated trait (phenotype). In medical genetics, the penetrance of a disease-causing mutation is the proportion of individuals with the mutation who exhibit clinical symptoms. For example, if a mutation in the gene responsible for a particular autosomal dominant disorder has 95% penetrance, then 95% of those with the mutation will develop the disease, while 5% will no"

    Any my summary is that even though you have a gene for a disease, even a fatal disease, does not 100% mean that you will go on to develop the condition.

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  • 11. At 12:24pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #3 "Once people start taking responsibility for their actions and accpt they are to blame, for triping over etc then the country will be a better place."

    I'd agree with that quite a bit, but not absolutely. You could twist your argument to defend factories using uncovered cutting machines or miners being sent down pits with no monitoring of gas (Something my great-grandfather was driven out of Wales for protesting about).

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  • 12. At 12:25pm on 30 Sep 2010, Lord Horror wrote:


    "On the Today programme, the clinical psychologist Oliver James tore into the research and made accusations of "massive spin"."


    Oliver James is a useless know-nothing who systematically denies that genes or nature have any influence on personaliy or behaviour whatsoever.

    This is why he got into the trouble with the parents of Schizophrenic children by insisting that it was "all in the environment" he basically blamed Schizophrenia on bad upbringing despite the overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary.

    Genuine scientists will replicate this reseach to test this claim and find out if ADHD has any heriditary factors whilst the likes of Oliver James will claim to "know it all already" on the basis of little or no actual research to promote a vacous political agenda.

    Why any of the media outlets (including the BBC) treat Oliver James as any kind of authorative expert on biology, neurology or behaviourism has more to do with stirring up a non-controversy than anything to with genuine scientific journalism.

    Remember this the next time he is invitied to speak on any of these issues.

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  • 13. At 12:26pm on 30 Sep 2010, Selezen wrote:

    It's interesting to see the constructive and well-informed comments that are appearing here about ADHD. This is exactly the sort of reaction that prevents children or adults with this condition being taken seriously.

    I help run a support network in Derbyshire which provides assistance for parents and families dealing with ADHD. I am father to a child with ADHD and let me tell you that living with this condition removes any grey areas as to its existence. Our son was diagnosed with the condition by one of the most respected child psychologists in the country and I would trust that diagnosis over any opinions expressed by a media correspondent. Always seek medical opinions when discussing any medical issues.

    This research is confirmation to anyone in a position to understand the condition that it's NOT just the fault of the parents. The research highlights a relatively high number of cases where the genetic proof can be found. Please note that this is early days, and that these results are only a stepping stone to understanding this condition - the genetic results should NOT be considered to be the ONLY cause or symptom of the condition. Parenting issues, whilst not the CAUSE of the condition, may still have an effect on the child. Parenting techniques that are used to discipline or reward children without the condition have been proven to have no effect on children with ADHD. One of the most valuable tools for dealing with ADHD is knowledge, and anyone who wants to learn about the condition would be well advised to take a look into it.

    Gary Robinson, a psychologist in Derbyshire, has also recently completed a 5 year research project with the University of Derby looking into many aspects of ADHD that would be essential reading alongside the results of the Cardiff University project.

    Also, many other conditions can be mistaken for ADHD, including Assberger's syndrome and autism. These conditions can also exist alongside ADHD.

    Please, people, don't consider this research and its results as the "definitive answer" to ADHD and its causes. It's a positive step towards understanding the condition and finding ways to effectively treat it alongside or instead of the medication.

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  • 14. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, Small acts of defiance wrote:

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was invented by drug companies in order to sell Ritalin. The modern pharmaceutical industry operates on the principle of "an ill for every pill".

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  • 15. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, LardiusMaximus wrote:

    ADHD is a label not a disease. The finding that 15% of children labeled as having ADHD had the genetic marker and 7% without had the same marker suggests that there is no correlation at all. All we deomonstrated here is that a larger proportion of badly behaved children get labeled with ADHD than well behaved children. Well that's not such a surprise is it? There was no demonstrated connection between the marker and the behaviour. What next, genetic predisposition to yuppie flu?

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  • 16. At 12:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    14. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was invented by drug companies in order to sell Ritalin. The modern pharmaceutical industry operates on the principle of "an ill for every pill".


    The Novartis list price for Ritalin (5mg tablets) is $78.83 per hundred. The drug itself (methylphenidate) is a very basic amphetamine you could almost make in your kitchen (indeed some of my neighbours are in jail for doing just that!). Ritalin is the 'brand' drug, but you can get a generic for pennies. If your theory was true you'd think the pharmaceutical industry would invent a disease that had an expensive cure!

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  • 17. At 12:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, Lesley_focus wrote:

    This "research" or rather the spin that has happened around it is very worrying for me. My friend's son was being put into the ADHD box several years ago, but another friend and I were convinced that his only problem was his mother's tendency to give him fizzy drinks and kiddie foods stuffed full on nasty E numbers (I do recognise that there are good ones too. We persuaded her to change his diet, take great care to read the labels in the supermarket, and within 2 weeks he was "cured".
    This of course does not mean that all cases are the same, and there may well be a genetic link, but I think this illustrates that not all children with the attention span of a slug, and a tendency to be "difficult" necessarily means they have ADHD, like not all poor spellers are dyslexic. BUT it does become an easy box to put people in, when you can't be bothered to find out the real reason for their behaviour. If it were my child I would want to investigate all possibilities, not just be handed a cover all solution.

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  • 18. At 12:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, HiggyTheRed wrote:

    Well done to Radio 4 for having somebody challenge this "research". BBC Breakfast this morning was presenting these findings as fact though. They also made it the lead story. Even I, as a complete layman, can see flaws in this reports conclusions.

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  • 19. At 12:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    15. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, RightWingIDBanned wrote:
    "What next, genetic predisposition to yuppie flu?"

    If by Yuppie Flu you mean ME then that was shown last month.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-11204884

    Your susceptibility to a virus is at least in part genetic (which explains why caucasians are more resistant to HIV than black africans)

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  • 20. At 12:39pm on 30 Sep 2010, Bobhead wrote:

    @1 Knellerman

    In a previous career I was a science teacher in a school in a highly deprived area of the north east.
    This particular school had a high incidence of ADHD amonst it's pupils.
    I could talk about patterns I've seen (single parent families etc) but as we can see there is mounting evidence that ADHD has a multifactorial cause and may be more than one disorder grouped together.

    What I wished to point out, is that the children on Ritalin (dexamphetamine) would get there prescription in the morning and at lunch time.
    At lunch time if you walked down the queue you would be forgiven in some cases for believing these children were addicts waiting for fix (literally shaking in some cases).
    When these children leave school and their fix of dexamphetamine (that's called 'speed' on the streets)no longer does it for them, where do you think they'll get there fix?

    My point is think long and hard before giving children a substance who's close relative is a highly addictive, class A drug.
    Also, no long term study of the effects of Ritalin has been produced. If it's anything like speed/amphetamine then brain damamge and pschosis await.
    For the sake of many children in this country (about 1 in 50) I hope that all these 'sponsored studies' of Ritalin are correct, and that there are no long term side effects.

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  • 21. At 12:40pm on 30 Sep 2010, Wookey Hobbit wrote:

    What research has been carried out on the parents of ADHD children?
    My younger son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of eleven. It quickly became clear that his symptoms were similar to my own and to my father's.
    Having been diagnosed broadly with 'anxious' ADHD, he was treated with seroxat (now prohibited for children under 16) which left him with lasting damage. I am convinced his suffering now is worse as a result of seroxat.

    My repeated requests for help with learning how to look after my ADHD son, were refused. He slept little and, as a result, I was up for hours every night trying to help him calm down and that was hell for both of us. I tried everything I read in books, and was always very careful with his diet.

    I will never forgive the system for the damage done to my son and our family. It is time for people to wake up and see the truth. There is a huge difference between ADHD and bad behaviour.

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  • 22. At 12:41pm on 30 Sep 2010, Billy wrote:

    I do not doubt that ADHD is a genuine disorder that affects it's victims quite badly. But previous healines claiming that sa many as 20% of children suffer from it can't be right. After all, if something affects as many as 1 in 5 children it stops being a disorder and strats being the norm.

    I also doubt the assertion that it is genetic, otherwise behavioural issues in school would not have increased so rapidly in hte last 20 years.

    I think ADHD is overdiagnosed, with kids who simply lack self discipline being given the excuse of being the victim of a disease. This is to the detriment of the few genuine sufferers who need proper help, rather than just a smack.

    I think the film Super-Size Me gives a clue to the cause behind pseudo ADHD; they give an example of a school for disruptive pupils who have been excluded which changed the diet of the kids to eliminate junk food food and introduce fresh organic produce. There was a striking improvement in concentration and behaviour of the pupils.

    These kids don't need Ritalin, they just need decent food.

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  • 23. At 12:44pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #20 Ritalin isn't methampetamine, although it is an amphetamine:

    Ritalin is C14H19NO2 , Methamphetamine is C10H15N

    Millions of tablets of methamphetamine were handed out to aircrew in WW2 with very little problem. My own father (a senior surgeon these days) was given it in the army in the 70's and seems to have avoided brain damage and pyscosis pretty well.

    That isn't to say I think giving kids amphetamines to make them quiet is a good idea though!

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  • 24. At 12:45pm on 30 Sep 2010, ticktickticktickboom wrote:

    I have long believed that in the vast majority of cases, children diagnosed with ADHD have behavioural problems linked directly to;
    1. Poor Diet.
    2. Lack of boundaries/discipline.
    3. Disfunctional parenting.
    My work brings me into contact with a large number of young families and I am weary of the number of parents proudly declaring that their offspring have either 'anger management' issues (one of these was a boy of 8yrs) or have been diagnosed as being afflicted with ADHD or any of it's variants. For a small percentage there may be a medically based problem, but I suspect that for the rest this is just a handy cop-out for unfit parents to shift responsibility onto the state (so long as they themselves still get rewarded for bringing still more children into the world).

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  • 25. At 12:48pm on 30 Sep 2010, loupy23 wrote:

    But research funded by a company with vested interests to finding a genetic and biomedical source would not have a bias at all in overstating the results of the research...

    I'm sure that follow-up research will be carried out (in addition to the plentiful studies already available on ADHD) which might suggest that this is a complicated condition which is, dare I say it, also a result (you can add the appropriate percentage as you see fit) of the environment that the child is brought up in. Needless to say, the blame game never did anyone any good on either side of the research. If you're a great parent then be adaptive and take responsibility for your role as a parent, you're not there to compare yourself to your friends and their children, or to be your childs best friend. You're there to prepare your child adequately for the world that awaits him or her. ADHD might be part of your child's lot, but better to deal with that in a way that continues to validate your child than invalidate them. ADHD issues remain for a long time and without adequate therapy how will the child manage symptoms (outside of the medications) in order to master their life???

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  • 26. At 12:48pm on 30 Sep 2010, YorkshireMag wrote:

    We have known for a long time that ADHD is a genetic disorder. I have it, two of my three children have it and so does one of my sisters children. It however is not just a childhood condition it can in some cases last into adulthood and can cause difficulties in adult life with employment, relationships and everyday life. It is a great cause for concern that many, if not most, GP's only see it as a childhood disorder and refuse to treat adults with the condition. As soon as a child gets to the age of 16, and they leave the Paediatric consultants care, they are often left with no NHS provision for support and care and the drugs which have helped manage the condition are withdrawn. This ends up with a lot of very vulnerable young adults being left unsupported and causing a great deal of problems for the families and society in general.

    Hopefully now that "science" has discovered what we sufferers already knew we will be able to access the support needed and gain recognition that the problem isn't just something you "Grow out of" that it can stay with you throughout your life and it isn't just "Bad parenting, poor teaching" or any of the excuses given by those who do not understand the condition.

    I was only clinically diagnosed with the condition, at the age of 43, two years ago after my children were diagnosed (after a long fight with the children’s services) and we had to travel to the Morley Hospital in London to see one of only a few consultants in the UK who dealt with adult ADHD.

    I am now taking medication for the condition and finding life a lot easier, family life is a lot better, I only wish that I had been diagnosed a lot earlier then I would not have had to struggle through life with a condition that "Doesn’t Exist"

    I would urge anyone who thinks they or their children may have this condition to see their GP's and if necessary fight to be referred to someone who can help.

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  • 27. At 12:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, Hairy Dan wrote:

    I agree that the evidence for a genetic cause is flimsy (a contributing factor, maybe) but why is the alternative automatically assumed to be "bad parenting"? I know several couples with ADHD children and I know that they do not abuse or mistreat (or for that matter excessively spoil) their children or do anything else which could clearly be identified as "bad". But while scientific hypotheses (like a genetic cause for ADHD) have to stand up to a rigorous standard of proof, no evidence at all seems to be required for the assertion that it must be because of "bad parenting". Have I missed something - is there some incontrovertible proof that everything which happens to children, other than genetic defects, is caused by their parents and never influenced by (for example) their peer group, school, environmental or even random causes? Has anybody even clearly defined what "bad parenting" means? Or is it just easier to blame the parents because vilifying somebody else makes you feel cosy and safe in the knowledge that you are therefore a good parent (or even a good non-parent)? What does that say about the people who are so keen to define a group of other people as "bad parents"?

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  • 28. At 12:56pm on 30 Sep 2010, CCHR UK wrote:

    ‘ADHD’ was literally voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association in 1987. All it took was a show of hands. Since then,there have been various attempts to justify the label and to justify the drugging regime that goes hand-in-hand with 'ADHD'.

    Boisterous, argumentative or disruptive behaviour has been redefined as a mental illness, and the latest theory of ‘genetic faults’ is just another psychiatric smoke screen that feeds the profit-driven psychiatric industry.

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  • 29. At 12:56pm on 30 Sep 2010, Inner-strengthmommy wrote:

    My son is now a young adult who has dealt with ADHD coupled with dyslexia ,dystpraxia and OCD. I find a lot of comments on this forum frightening! My son has never been on any medication, I made an informed decision that I did not want to put my child(at the time) on Ritalin (on the streets its called speed). When i did a little research into the drug I found: people with ADHD the person will react calmer (more relaxed) But my son was worried he wouldn't be able to make informed choices!

    I decided to focus my childs energy by way of learning to play instuments and read books and lots of sports, I also limited his diet (the diet had no effect so I let my son eat normally).

    My son illnesses effect every part of his life and he has never behaved badly, but what he has acheived is a degree and he is now studing towards his Phd, he has systems in place daily to try to stem the effects of his illness, but he lives with it without medication and he is bright and happy. He has massive doubts that his ADAD is environmental or is to do with my parenting skills (as I was i teenage lone parent always worked and never blamed others for my childs behaviour.

    My sons father also suffers from ADHD and OCD, their has to be something in the genes and the more I look into ADHD I find the number of males to females who suffer is worth looking at to.

    One last point to PC HITMAN I dont think you thought your responce through and maybe need more time to think about your reply! you just made yourself look childish and very silly

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  • 30. At 12:56pm on 30 Sep 2010, ATNotts wrote:

    No.22 Billy wrote:

    "I do not doubt that ADHD is a genuine disorder that affects it's victims quite badly. But previous healines claiming that sa many as 20% of children suffer from it can't be right. After all, if something affects as many as 1 in 5 children it stops being a disorder and strats being the norm."

    The problem today is that they (probably the vested interests) apply the spectrum so widely that pretty well everyone can fall somewhere within it.

    No only with ADHD, but also with conditions such as autism and aspergers. Without a doubt a number of people suffer severely from such conditions, but at the lower end of the spectrums (is that spectra?)the conditions can be hardly noticable - compulsive train spotters for example could be construed to have aspergers it hardly effects their life or prospects!

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  • 31. At 12:59pm on 30 Sep 2010, Cobbett_Rides_Again wrote:

    In some (I admit not all) cases ADHD just seems to be a label given to what happens to children who are unwilling and/or unsuited to being trained to pass endless paper exams. This seems especially true when a middle class child seems suited to honest straightforward manual work, rather than something involving a suit and an office.

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  • 32. At 1:00pm on 30 Sep 2010, Bobhead wrote:

    @23 Peter_sym

    Indeed, it is still handed out today in the USAF for sub hunting crews, and addiction is still possible. In the air force it's more about staying awake than behaviour modification.

    As with alchohol, you can take it everyday with a little bit of damage to your body. However, an alchoholic has every chance of impaired liver function, liver damage, brain and kidney damage, zinc deficeincy etc.

    I would be surprised to here if your surgeon father had a serious additction to amphetamine!

    Personally, if there is ANY chance that addiction could follow from taking a behaviour/brain fundtion altering drug I would think twice about giving it to a child.

    There are many different variations in the amphetamine family (a few have already been mentioned)some are more dangerous than others. In medical terms, I would stick to those that have a track record.

    Take a look on wikipedia at some of the lawsuits pending. And also the section on long term side effects

    "A small study of just under 100 children that assessed long-term outcome of stimulant use found that 6% of children became psychotic after months or years of stimulant therapy. Typically psychosis would abate soon after stopping stimulant therapy. As the study size was small, larger studies have been recommended.[76] The long-term effects on mental health disorders in later life of chronic use of methylphenidate is unknown"

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  • 33. At 1:00pm on 30 Sep 2010, chezza100 wrote:

    If children are raised appropriately and taught values I really feel that there would be no such thing as ADHD.

    Too much junk food, not enough outdoor time and bad parenting in general really must be key factors.

    Theres a family who live not far from me they have 5 children and 3 have been diagnosed with ADHD and they get benefits for it which is a joke.

    Money for badly behaved children - whatever next???

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  • 34. At 1:01pm on 30 Sep 2010, 1stTopic wrote:

    How on earth would we know !
    You would need to be a scientist and have lots of data, which I heard that the people producing this report does not have,
    a non topic if I ever heard one

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  • 35. At 1:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    A good old fashioned tough approach to bringing up children is the answer, no monnycoddling, no categorising them into this, that & the other. Sure, there will be weaklings & many who are less well-adjusted to a tough regime but a good dose of a no-nonsense treatment will turn them into durable saints.

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  • 36. At 1:06pm on 30 Sep 2010, Mickey wrote:

    Even when effective treatments have been identified, they get little airing in the UK. See my 3-part talk on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFVykFNOGdw

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  • 37. At 1:07pm on 30 Sep 2010, I_amStGeorge wrote:

    So it is starting to be proved what all knwoedgable parents knew all along and the this disorder is a heiraditary instance and the drugs companies invented it to sell drugs
    This problem has existed for years before drugs it was called hyper activity and the cure was a balanced nutritional hot meal and a good kick about with a football
    What crosses my mind though is the cost to the country for all these thousands of perscriptions written out weekly by doctors and will this be re couped from the drugs company and the response of the body to all these ingested uneccessary drugs swallowed by the children and are the drugs companies liable if a link to future illness is found.
    To the friends of the drugs companies who deny this. I will say one thing.
    Some years back a door mat drugs company , work it out, was guilty in Africa of causing african women to walk miles with their poorly children many of which died, to come to their clinics to be perscribed a medicine costing a months pay. without it their children did indeed die.
    The medicine was little more than indegestion medicine that could be made from simple items found in african homes costing pennies but the mothers were not told this as it was a closely guarded trade secret until one of the charity organised companys analyzed it.
    You work it out

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  • 38. At 1:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, Tyrbiter wrote:

    When I talk to older people (and I'm in my late forties) about ADHD and similar conditions they all tell me that none of these conditions existed in their school days. The reason they quote is simple, anyone misbehaving then lived in fear of being caned or beaten and the threat of that was enough to ensure that children didn't display behaviour that regularly singled them out for punishment. For much the same reason they credit the same approach with hiding things like dyslexia, again children who didn't learn to read properly were physically punished so they made sure that they could pass whatever tests were required.

    ADHD has exploded over the last 20 years, and it can only be because of diagnosis becoming available. But let's not forget that diagnosis happens because there is funding available, and that those funded can't then discover that their diagnostics are not necessary.

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  • 39. At 1:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, YorkshireMag wrote:

    We have known for a long time that ADHD is a genetic disorder. I have it two of my three children have it and so does one of my sisters children. It however is not just a childhood condition it can in some cases last into adulthood and can cause difficulties in adult life with employment, relationships and everyday life. It is a great cause for concern that many, if not most, GP's only see it as a childhood disorder and refuse to treat adults with the condition. As soon as a child gets to the age of 16, and they leave the Paediatric consultants care, they are often left with no NHS provision for support and care and the drugs which have helped manage the condition are withdrawn. This ends up with a lot of very vulnerable young adults being left unsupported and causing a great deal of problems for the families and society in general.

    Hopefully now that "science" has discovered what we sufferers already knew we will be able to access the support needed and gain recognition that the problem isn't just something you "Grow out of" that it can stay with you throughout your life and it isn't just "Bad parenting, poor teaching" or any of the excuses given by those who do not understand the condition.

    I was only clinically diagnosed with the condition, at the age of 43, two years ago after my children were diagnosed (after a long fight with the children’s services) and we had to travel to the Morley Hospital in London to see one of only a few consultants in the UK who dealt with adult ADHD.

    I am now taking medication for the condition and finding life a lot easier, family life is a lot better, I only wish that I had been diagnosed a lot earlier then I would not have had to struggle through life with a condition that "Doesn’t Exist"

    I would urge anyone who thinks they or their children may have this condition to see their GP's and if necessary fight to be referred to someone who can help.

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  • 40. At 1:13pm on 30 Sep 2010, The High Numbers wrote:

    "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children."

    It sounds like a readymade excuse to me, I wonder how long it will be before people start milking it?

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  • 41. At 1:14pm on 30 Sep 2010, Paul wrote:

    " 14. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was invented by drug companies in order to sell Ritalin. The modern pharmaceutical industry operates on the principle of "an ill for every pill"."

    It's comments made by ignoramuses like RadialSymmetry why topics like this shouldn't be discussed on HYS, too many people spouting garbage about things they have no knowledge of whatsoever.

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  • 42. At 1:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    Hi Bobhead. The last time I posted heavily on Fergus's blog it was over the swine flu hysteria. I pointed out that ALL drugs now matter how simple carry risk. Even something as simple as Penicillin is actually quite remarkably dangerous... something like 1 in 1000 people have a potentially life threatening allergy to it, but its saved my life at least once, so the benefits outweigh the risks. Plenty of people get fairly serious addictions to over the counter cough medicines and Britain is unusual in how easy it is to get hold of codeine (you can get 2 years in jail in Greece if you forget to take the co-codamol out of your suitcase)

    Basically its not practical or sensible to outlaw a drug because there's any chance of addiction... the shelves in the chemist would be empty. Likewise I'd discount the fact that lawsuits are pending too. Wait to see if any lawsuits actually win. Given the behaviour of some kids with ADHD I'm surprised ONLY 6% are diagnosed psycotic! Remember its unethical (and therefore illegal) to have a control group of unaffected kids given the same stimulants so this sort of data is only semi-useful.

    THAT SAID I don't like the idea of this many kids being given amphetamines. I appreciate GP's are put under pressure but many are far too quick to prescribe a pill rather than actually address the route cause of the problem. There's a similar problem with anti-depressants. His sister was under a bit of exam stress and immediately given some very powerful anti-depressants by a GP (which incidentally are very good if you wish to commit suicide). Ritalin seems an appropriate therapy for some kids but I cannot accept that something like 10% of the UK's kids require it.

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  • 43. At 1:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jonathan wrote:


    Fergus Walsh's comments are spot on in my view.

    I have little to add except to recommend to Journals that they resist the temptation to issue press releases which suggest simplistic interpretations of published research and to broadcasters to give knowledgeable correspondents and other advisors time to reflect before they jump on the band wagon.

    Highly complex 'spectrum disorders' cannot be understood in black or white simplistic terms or treated with a single approach. They require very careful study to decide which elements are just exaggerated aspects of 'normal' behaviour, and which are truly pathological and require intervention.

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  • 44. At 1:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Salwatson wrote:

    My son is 21 and was finally diagnosed at 17 with adhd. Undiagnosed and unmedicated he had still achieved good enough A levels to get a place at uni studying radiography. However after 18 months of study this was picked up by the hospital during practical clinical placement. Despite passing all written exams and coursework he is unable to continue because the uni isn't happy to pass his placement module despite completing all 4 of the required case studies and practical assessments with marks all in excess of 95%. He has also completed the list of required tasks both assisted and unassisted. His portfolio records perfect punctuality and no evidence of dangerous or unprofessional practice. The main complaint appears to be the continual restlessness such as twiddling or swinging his badge. A waste of 2 years a lot of money both ours and nhs and my son feels consigned to scrap heap.
    Sent from my iPhone

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  • 45. At 1:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, Philvis wrote:

    You know, I wonder just how many of the commentators above who, in some cases assert and in others speculate, that ADHD is down to environmental factors or indeed 'bad parenting,' actually have real 'living with' experience of children with a diagnosis of ADHD. Some teachers might say that they have experience with children with ADHD and therefore know it all, but let me tell you that as a teacher and a parent with a child with a diagnosis of ADHD, it's very different living with it. Fergus, you take a view on the research debate as detailed in the news today and dispute the evidential findings yet you make an assertion that parents of children with adhd would prefer help rather than labels - without, I presume any research on that. For my part, I don't want to be labelled, but this research today really holds out some hope for us that finally we can say, you know what, it's not down to our parenting. ADHD is real, it does exist and defies any logical explanation. We could write a book on the strategies we have put in place in our home which, incidentally, work for our other children. You know, if any of you comment but don't have real experience of this, try talking to someone like me first.

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  • 46. At 1:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, SR from EG wrote:

    14. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was invented by drug companies in order to sell Ritalin. The modern pharmaceutical industry operates on the principle of "an ill for every pill".

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ritalin was invented to deal with a sleep disorder where people could fall asleep whilst standing up for example. I don't know the medical term but the drug was used to regulate the individual sleep pattern. The side effect was that it was noticed on those who were considered hyper active that there was a calming effect on them. My eldest son was dianosed when living in Canada long before the medical profession woke up to it over here. It has been tested for over 60 years and although in some eyes controversial certainly helped him in being maintained in the school system. Like everything else it's how the evalaution of a child's needs can be met. There has for many years been thoughts that it could be passed down through the genes and you can make leaps of association or there may be some evidence to suggest this. It isn't a disease it can impede a person's progress ans psychology rather than pyschiatry is appropriate. Although it is important to find out why some children have ADHD the management of it is more important. The condition is real not dreamed up unless you want to live in the 70's, I've lived with it for over 30 years.

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  • 47. At 1:27pm on 30 Sep 2010, Cederic wrote:


    I was diagnosed at a very early age with ADHD. This was in the 70s, when the treatment was "keep him busy and deal with it", before it was fashionable, before you could get benefits for it, before Ritalin (or other drugs) were prescribed..

    I am disappointed at the implied insult to my parents from some of the responses here. They definitely cared for me, meals had meat & two veg, we ate fish at least once a week, fizzy drinks/junk foods were a rarity and in pretty much every regard my upbringing was comparable to my peers.

    It may be possible that pre or post-natal behaviours by my mother were an influence in me developing ADHD, but it certainly wasn't "bad parenting".

    In adult life I can recognise many ADHD symptoms in my own behaviours. It was almost a relief when my mother told me about the childhood diagnosis - when I was 35. She waited that long because she didn't want me to use it as an excuse.

    There are definitely specific foods that I've noticed can trigger excessive hyperactivity, even now, but the social interaction problems, the difficulty in concentrating and hyperactive periods resulting from tiredness or frustration all exist, all occur independently of diet and are clearly no longer anything to do with my parents.

    Maybe Ritalin would help. I prefer not to drug myself senseless, so I've never found out. I've learned coping behaviours and chosen a career that leverages some of the upsides of ADHD (which were evident long before I knew about the diagnosis) and I function fairly normally.

    I just get frustrated when people both dismiss ADHD as a fashionable disease and also when others use it as an excuse to drug their kids or claim benefits. I believe it's definitely a 'condition', so lets acknowledge it, continue to investigate it, diagnose it properly and improve our understanding of it.

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  • 48. At 1:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, Seqenenre wrote:

    No doubt we'll be paying them all Disability Benefits soon then.

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  • 49. At 1:30pm on 30 Sep 2010, John De Haura wrote:

    Don't you just love the way every thing has to be categorized and called a name today.

    Once upon a time we'd all just realise (or not even need to realise) that everyone is actually quite different - and thank goodness they are. I would abandon society completely if everyone acted the same - or have to conform and act in a certain way (like many are starting to). Whether it's through fashion or through television and media - humans are so easily conditioned. Those who are not easily conditioned or don't behave in the stereotypical manner are quite often frowned upon by some.

    The trouble is, people are rather stupid and gullible - even those who are proclaimed to be 'academically bright'. They need to be told what's what and when to do something. People are fooled into believing false-truths every single day. Most of this is down to the unscrupulous money making greed some thirst for - and the rest is wanting people to be ordered and put into little classified boxes and files with name tags attached describing the way they act and are.

    I pity those who are incapable of socratical questioning. And I pity those who think they need to act in a particular fashion in order to fit in or appear normal - whatever 'normal' is supposed to equal.

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  • 50. At 1:32pm on 30 Sep 2010, SeaSyde wrote:

    As someone who suffered from ADHD as a child I find it insulting and highly anoying that "Genetics" are blamed for something that is so easily and provably solved.

    ADHD is entirely linked to diet. A diet high in E numbers and other artificial additives in my case caused me to suffer from hyperactivity for years. My parents cut out all sweets, drinks and foods high in E numbers and over night my behavior changed, my school work improved and I have been able to go on to raise a family and progress a successful career without any medical or psychiatric help. To use more chemicals to reduce a chemical imbalance is simply insane when that same imbalance can be prevented by staying away from certain foods. ADHD is an allergy not a mental condition and should be treated as such. You stay away from what irritates you.

    More information needs to be presented to parents regarding diet and it's effect on mental state as well as further training on doctors who seem too keen on prescribing medications than finding how to prevent the issue. Too much emphasis has been placed on "diet" and "weight" while the psychological aspects are brushed under the carpet.
    You are what you eat? in this case a very true statement.

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  • 51. At 1:33pm on 30 Sep 2010, notoappeasement wrote:

    Another cop out from bad parenting!!

    I wonder who pays for these gobbledegook researches? Day in and day out we seem to be getting flooded with half baked theories and then we are told it could take 10 years to come to any practicable conclusions.

    Is this another way for asking more money from the tax payer to keep the so called researchers and professors BUSY?

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  • 52. At 1:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Les Acres wrote:

    We'll all have something soon at this rate.

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  • 53. At 1:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, Sharon wrote:

    When I was a child in the 80s/90s, I was labelled "difficult" , who refused to concentrate or pay attention and wouldn't make an effort in classes. However, to myself, I was giving everythign 100% but it never quite turned out right, or my way of thinking was shot down and I was branded "stupid". My English teacher was given to showing my homework to the class and tellign them that this was "how not to do it".

    At 25, while at University, I saw a clinical phychologist in London who diagnosed me with dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADD. For the first time in my life, there was someone telling me I wasn't stupid, jsut different. I think I cried for most of that day in relief.

    While there may well be instances of mis-diagnoses in children, it is vital that those with such neuro-diverse conditions on the Austistic spectrum are given the support and help they desperately need to grow into healthy, happy adults. I was forced onto anti-depressants at 15 because of my behaviour which, I now know, was greatly to do with my problems at school that no-one cared about, and being put on medication has seriously impacted me for the majority of my adult life. I we really do care about our children they need to know they can get the suport they need without being ridiculed or ignored.

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  • 54. At 1:39pm on 30 Sep 2010, Forlornehope wrote:

    There was a recent study [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] showed a very high correlation between diagnosis of ADHD and birth month. Children who were young in their cohort group were 50% more likely to be diagnosed. This suggested that the problem was to do with immaturity. It matches data that shows that being young in the year group correlates with a continuing disadvantage to the extent of an A level grade at the age of 18. The significance of this genetic study does seem over blown by comparison.

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  • 55. At 1:40pm on 30 Sep 2010, teedoff wrote:

    Hmm...I've often wondered if I have a condition like ADHD or Autism. One son has been diagnosed with Asperger's and the other is said to have High-Functioning Autism. Now that I know it might be genetic I have an instant answer to cover any guilt I may have had in how I brought them up. Not only could they have inherited their conditions from me, but the fact of me having the condition affected how I interacted with them and aggrevated any bias in their upbringing. That's a tremendous guilt off-load.

    Slightly more seriously, I have a view of the world that I'm not sure is shared by others. I find it difficult to interact in large groups, preferring one-to-one situations, and find I tend to stay in my comfort zone. these actions, along with others, could well point to my having a condition that sets me apart from being "normal". However I have always viewed myself as being normal, which means that if others are not like me they are abnormal in some way. It's not my fault, but theirs. I found that explaining this to my children helped them to be themselves. They know when to conform - when it's appropriate - and when they can let loose and be comfortable. We love to label people, and pigeon-hole them, and I have tried to make my children conscious of how we do this so that they can get pigeon-holed as special rather than "special". It seems to have worked for my older son, and my daughter is a "here I am" type of person anyway, so I reckon that following accepted wisdom is not always the best route. As a parent we must try to do what is best for our child, and much of that is accomplished by listening to them and encouraging them in what they enjoy. A happy child is an asset, so learn how to make our children happy instead of sticking labels on them and dosing them with medicine because it's easier for us. Medicine should be what makes them feel right, and if it doesn't then it's not right.

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  • 56. At 1:40pm on 30 Sep 2010, ting wrote:

    I was a teacher for several years (last decade), working in a number of different schools across London. In every school a small proportion of children were diagnosed with ADHD. I often had to meet with their parents who were not pleasant to deal with; blamed everyone else for their child's problems and were actually proud of their child's "condition". Every parent I dealt with claimed benefits, had several other children, did not want to work, fed the children unhealthy food and did not bring them up well. I often thought that we do not need people like this in the country so why have we paid them to have children in the first? I also thought that we spent a disportionate amount of time and money in helping these kids. Therefore nice, decent kids were ignored, which is itself a punishment. So I am afraid, that children with this so-called condition are from lower class backgrounds. None of the kids whose parents fed them well and raise them properly had these issues. However of course it's un-PC to state this. People who cause their own problems are never to blame, it's always someone else's fault. So we give them a nice little label. Which in turn justifies their poor behaviour which results in even more work for teachers to do. Oh, it also is a lovely money earner for the person who coined this term and those who work in this field.

    I went to school in the 1980s, there were of course naughty kids but ADHD was out of the question. No kid would have dared to have behaved so poorly. If they did, their parents would be called and no doubt they would get a hiding when they got home. I reckon we had better parenting and dieting back then. Plus adults had authority to discipline children. These days, adults have no power to control kids and even if they have i.e. the parents then they simply cannot be bothered to parent properly.

    I certain that there is also a link between welfare benefits (in the last 13 years) and this type of behaviour - I will leave you to work this out. Oh and here's another fancy term - ODD, You can find out what it means, I just laughed when I found out about it two years ago.

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  • 57. At 1:49pm on 30 Sep 2010, Megan wrote:

    Good reporting, a good 'catch' of a mismatch between a press release and the substance of the paper...

    Speaking as a teacher, however, my view remains the same. Some children need more help than others, some children need to work harder at their behaviour than others... but I accept no excuses: they ALL have to reach the standard of behaviour that I require in my classroom.

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  • 58. At 1:49pm on 30 Sep 2010, Debz wrote:

    Has anyone considered or looked into ADHD as possibly being related to other conditions?

    My son has recently been considered as potentially having ADHD however there are also signs of dyslexia and he has recently had grommets inserted due to loss of hearing through fluid trapped in his ear drum.

    I dismissed the claim of ADHD for two reasons. First being that: I would not consider any form of medication unless it was a last resort and secondly: I am not confident that his behaviour isn't related to dyslexia/ hearing loss. I am dyslexic. I was not behind in my education at any point due to this however because there is a history in the family it was my behaviour that indicated to my parents that there may be a problem.

    In class, I would hole punch and tear up my maths books, day dream out the window, figit with other peoples hair whilst the teacher was telling a story. This was all through frustration because things just didn't make sense and I didn't understand. Learning was 10 times more difficult for me than what it seemed to be for others in the class and eventually because you didn't understand the teacher who got increasingly annoyed with you for asking questions on things they termed as "easy", you would just give-up, withdraw or rebel as a consequence. The pressure was immense. At the age of 8 I was assesed by the dyslexia institute which was arranged by my parents (the school could not see the problem because I could read and write and knowledge was pretty low in this area as sadly it still is now - this is not down to a bad school either - they are currently rated the second best school in Scotland).

    After being throughly diagnosed in certain areas of dyslexia. I was tutored by an absolute expert in all areas from coordination to reading etc. Coordination being a key thing here: through swimming and horse-riding (let's face it - a horse takes no prisoners if you get it wrong so it's a good way to learn) and finally, I was up to scratch and behaving again not because of anything other than being able to understand at an equal baseline learning point as everyone else in my class.

    For this reason, I have doubts about ADHD, perhaps a cover of something underlying which needs to be fixed. It's an easy option to diagnose as lets face it - it's human nature to play up, get frustrated even angry if you cannot do something which somebody else can do easily and it's much easier for a paediatrician to diagnose all of the above as ADHD and prescribe some medication versus the testing you receive at the dyslexia institute and providing the techniques, teaching and support it requires to fix it which nobody wants to pay for or assist with. If you wanted an easy life you would certainly go for the first option but that's not fixing the problem is it? just masking it in my opinion.

    For the record, my son has both parents around and lives a happy life. He doesn't eat rubbish unless you regard a packed lunch of wholemeal sandwiches and a piece of fruit as rubbish!If you think about it logically perhaps yes, there is a larger majorty of children in lower class families suffering with the condition but from a genetic perspective, if parents are not assisted they are likely to underachieve and so are their children. I know that's not very pc and a bit of a generalisation but it is more often the case than not.

    I am grateful I was not stuck on medication and diagnosed with ADHD. Thank-fully my parents had the money to help me in the right way but the help should not be based on whether you can afford it.

    Where would we be without Albert Einstein. Would he have discovered what he did if he had been on medication? I don't know. For me it's about teaching and accepting we are not all the same and do not learn in the same way... Fix that and perhaps you have found a cure?

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  • 59. At 1:54pm on 30 Sep 2010, Parent_of_2 wrote:

    Perhaps Fergus should revisit The Autism is genetic story from June
    Same 85% without the defect,, Same Big headline of "we've found the answer"
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10275332
    Only difference no one challenged the Psychiatrists.

    when are we honestly going to look for the environmental cause of these disorders ??

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  • 60. At 1:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, junenicholls wrote:

    as a parent of a child with adhd, i am fed up of the label of BAD PARENT. adhd can be debilitating and no he doesnt cum from a broken or abused home, and his diet is healthy. he is denied some foods and fluids. until u ave walked in the steps of a parent with a child with adhd reserve judgment and inform your self. as aparent i never would of given my child adhd as a label, and as for the drugs it is not an easy choice to medicate ur child. and contray to popular belife properly medicated and managed they dont walk round as zombies.

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  • 61. At 2:00pm on 30 Sep 2010, John wrote:

    ADHD is nothing more than an imaginary condition invented by misguided social workers and trendy educationalists to excuse poor behaviour and justify greater funding for their departmental activities.

    When I was as school in the 1970s any pupil exhibiting such supposed disruptive ADHD symptoms was referred to a senior member of staff who upon receiving the physical punishment of the day was miraculously and immediately completely cured of such a 'medical condition'. And a much welcome return to such methods would work just as well in the 21st century and dramatically improve the present disintegration of school discipline in no time at all.

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  • 62. At 2:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    Aye, according to many of the postings here, many of the disorders we hear of are created & then driven by the pharmaceutical companies to sell their products, no cynicism intended!
    I was a teacher a lifetime ago & I remember a child in my class whom everyone had given up on. He was withdrawn & appeared completely defeated by life. The Child psychologists had given up on him. But after interacting with me for 6 months i.e. a no-nonsense regime, he was the complete opposite & became a terror of the School! I met him by chance years' later & he was a picture of health & was very grateful.

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  • 63. At 2:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, GilliK wrote:

    If ADHD is purely genetic, why has there been such a massive rise in the numbers of sufferers in recent years?

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  • 64. At 2:07pm on 30 Sep 2010, gweipo wrote:

    My ears pricked up to hear there had been a new study and I was relatively disappointed to hear that it doesn't really add to anything we already know.

    What dismays me is the ignorance and arrogance of so many of the commentators. To all you I would ask you to walk in my shoes for just one day.

    We are an upper middle class family. My children receive 3 home cooked nutritious balanced meals each day. they've never drunk any soft drinks, ever. They don't eat any candy. They don't even watch TV more than once a week for about 1/2 hour at a time. I am a stay at home mum. I help them with their homework. I read to them and they read to me every single night. I have regular contact with their teachers at school. They get regular exercise, they play musical instruments, there daddy is very involved in their lives. I didn't drink a drop of alcohol during my pregnancies or breast feeding.

    My daughter is a model student with top grades in all her subjects. Her brother has a problem. He cannot sit still and he cannot concentrate for more than 3 minutes at a time. His teacher reports that he's extremely well behaved and tries very very very hard all the time. But he cannot focus. It's breaking our hearts to see him try so hard for so little result.
    He's highly intelligent. He reads at above grade level. He's interested in all manner of things. He's verbal and articulate beyond his years. He's empathetic, he has plenty of friends, he's a natural leader. School is a daily nightmare for him. Homework is a daily nightmare for me.

    I will do everything in my power and I am doing everything, including an inordinate amount of personal research before I dare to reach for the pill bottle. Maybe we're in denial. Did I mention my brothers have ADHD?

    Don't judge. Please, please please don't judge.

    and as for some of the teachers who've commented. I'm really glad you're not teaching my son and I'm not having to deal with you. Your attitudes and behaviour is disgraceful. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have been dealing with the wonderful teachers I'm currently dealing with. They're supportive, they're knowledgeable, they love my child for who he is, and they're making as much of a difference in making his school life bearable as is humanly possible.

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  • 65. At 2:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, Parent_of_2 wrote:

    as a parent of child with autism who also has many ADHD symtoms i think the "environmental triggers" for both are the same.
    it speaks volumes that the welcome trust and MRC are funding similar studies for ADHD and Autism and without fail the BBC take part in the fanfare and banner waving. thankfully Fergus has his eyes open this time

    @John
    do you think beating could cure autsim too?

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  • 66. At 2:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, Shazmond wrote:

    I have a huge amount of difficulty with this. I think it is becoming increasingly easy to label bad behviour as 'illness' or 'disorder'. Where were all these illnesses or disorders 20-30 years ago? My next door neighbour claims her 14 year old son has ADHD. He is, in my opinion simply fat, lazy, rude and poorly cared for. His diet is appalling. His mother is proud of the fact that "he refuses to eat anything green", so they MUST have takeaway delivered every day. She also boasted to us during the summer that "he's had 24 J20s this weekend". Every time you see him he has a fizzy drink or some rubbish food in his hands. He is extraordinarily rude to the neighbours, likes to smash things in the road outside the houses and then simply walks off saying he can't be bothered to pick it up. He has also been caught spying through the windows of my house and watching me from his garden. Their reaction to me asking for THAT to stop? They called the police who came and questioned ME! Don't give me ADHD as an excuse for poor behaviour and upbringing, I don't want to hear it. I believe it does exist, but it is usually obvious where parents do have children with special needs - they're not usually to be found running round the streets playing water fights with their otherwise ignorant offspring.

    My own nephew has special needs (autism) and I see how his, and other parents of children with genuine cases of ADHD cope with their children's condition, it's not by feeding them a cocktail of sugar and saturated fats and encouraging their poor behaviour.

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  • 67. At 2:12pm on 30 Sep 2010, markmyword49 wrote:

    How should I know!! I'm not a scientist. Far better if the BBC and other media talked to the peers of the scientists before splashing "stories" such as this across the airwaves.

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  • 68. At 2:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jeff Smith wrote:

    Great. Another excuse to explain away poor parenting. Nothing is ever anyone's fault.

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  • 69. At 2:23pm on 30 Sep 2010, Steve Edwards wrote:

    If it is genetic, why does it seem to be on the increase? If you make the assumption that an adult with ADHD is less employable, is it because we're paying unemployable people to have more kids than average?

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  • 70. At 2:28pm on 30 Sep 2010, captainarmchairhero wrote:

    I wish the media would wait for articles like this to be digested and discussed in detail by the scientific community before they turn them into headline news.

    Especially for things like ADHD, where I bet there is a spectrum of sufferers and that diagnosis is not even clear cut.

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  • 71. At 2:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    50. At 1:32pm on 30 Sep 2010, SeaSyde wrote:
    As someone who suffered from ADHD as a child I find it insulting and highly anoying that "Genetics" are blamed for something that is so easily and provably solved........ADHD is entirely linked to diet. A diet high in E numbers and other artificial additives in my case caused me to suffer from hyperactivity for years..........ADHD is an allergy not a mental condition and should be treated as such. You stay away from what irritates you."

    Three problems with your post #50

    The first is that allergy and genetics are linked: easiest example is asthma, eczema and hayfever (of which I have 2 out of 3 and the rest of my family 3 out 3). Its not as simple as 'you have a gene that gives you asthma' rather you have a combination of genes which makes you more likely to react badly to a trigger. I make cancer vaccines for a living and cancer progression is a similar situation: some people have such genetic vunerability that they WILL get cancer in childhood, some people have bullet proof DNA and can smoke 100 a day and live to be 90. Most of us are in the middle and have some vunerability so are advised not to lie in the sun all day or smoke. Cancer development for most of us is a combination of genes and enviroment.

    Second problem with your post is that if ADHD is an allergy then you will be able to detect allergic markers in sufferers blood. All the usual stuff- elevated IgE immunoglobulin levels, raised cortisol, raised histamine. As far as I know no study has shown this.

    Thirdly 'E numbers' are blamed for all evils but most E-numbers are natural products like citric acid. Even Vitamin C which is essential for life is E300-305. A more simple explanation for the diet link would be simply too much simple sugars.... eat a load of glucose and you bounce off the walls for ten minutes then the insulin kicks in, you get an energy slump and a headache. Humans aren't really designed to eat refined sugar in large quantities.

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  • 72. At 2:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    69. At 2:23pm on 30 Sep 2010, Steve Edwards wrote:
    If it is genetic, why does it seem to be on the increase? If you make the assumption that an adult with ADHD is less employable, is it because we're paying unemployable people to have more kids than average?



    Same as for asthma: Its not as simple as 'the gene makes you have asthma' so much as 'the combination of genes increases your risk of asthma in response to certain trigger's'. An increase in the trigger in the enviroment (say oil seed rape pollen) will increase the incidence of the disease, although the reason you have it in the first place is because you carry a gene.

    Personally I believe this research as far as it goes: 15% of kids had unusual genes. Thats peer reviewed and is correct. The subsequent 'summaries' and 'implications' are the debatable bit, as is how many of the other 85% are just badly behaved kids and don't have 'ADHD' at all.

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  • 73. At 2:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Arsene Wengooner wrote:

    I guess it's like your intelligence; it's a product of genetics and environment, but is largely due to environment.

    Any genetic link is probably a result of the environment of the parent i.e poor diet, smoking while pregnant etc.!

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  • 74. At 2:37pm on 30 Sep 2010, DrNowellDotCom wrote:

    Thanks for this helpful corrective to some of the over-reaching headlines re: "genetic condition" following the Lancet article.

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  • 75. At 2:50pm on 30 Sep 2010, JordiPujol wrote:

    Hang on now, the fact that some of the children who exhibit behaviour that is typically associated with what we call ADHD have a common genetic variant does not mean that there is necessarily a causal link between that variant and ADHD. It only means that the variant is present in some children diagnosed as having ADHD. ADHD is not like lets say mumps - it can be misdiagnosed (virtually anything can, of course, but I think that disorders and syndromes which are a collection of behaviors that we consider negative or undesirable are perhaps more prone to misdiagnosis, even if the disorder or syndrome can be said to be valid in clinical terms) and if seven out of eight of the ADHD group did not have the variant, the application of basic empirical prionciples would surely tend to lead you to conclude that it was very much less, rather than more, likely that the variant was a cause of ADHD.

    Proof of behaviour being determined by genetic inheritance seems to be a Holy Grail for some people, I suspect more for ideological reasons than anything else. A few hundred years agom phrenologists believed they could tell if you were a criminal by the shape of your head. Surpise, surprise, it ended to be the under classes and other undesirables who displayed the tell tale characteristics. Today it is genetics.

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  • 76. At 2:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, mike ivybridge wrote:

    Having worked with special needs children for 3 years, and having met parents and siblings, I believe ADHD is caused by both nature and nurture. ADHD sufferers are often in families that either do not understand or are not properly informed about how to deal with the behavioural complexities. These youngsters, born with ADHD, are often treated as "very naughty" until a diagnosis is made, by which time the individual's self-image is "I'm bad and I'm a loner", which brings even more accentuated anti-social and attention-seeking behaviour. Suddenly treating them more tolerantly after the diagnosis just makes them suspicious and can even alienate them further. One solution would be a lot more research on much earlier detection, and far-better established nurture methods. At present, both nature and nurture are negative elements, but whilst nature cannot be changed, nurture can be totally rethought to become positive. ADHD may not be curable, but I believe it can be dealt with through far better nurture methods which may even alleviate the need for drugs such as Ritalin, which in my experience have done little to help anyone. My comments do not refer to all those coping with ADHD, and I must add that some parents are excellent at coping with and dealing with their child's condition, so that these children, despite displaying symptoms, are quite gregarious and relaxed, and do not present as "problem children", which rather evidences my views.

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  • 77. At 2:55pm on 30 Sep 2010, david wrote:

    There is no such condition. It is just an excuse for poor parenting. I am willing to bet that the children who have been diagnosed with this make up condition have parents who cannot be bothered. Cannot be bothered to discipline them properly, cannot be bothered to give them healthy food, cannot be bothered to make them switch off their computers , games consoles etc and cannot be bothered to admit it is their fault.

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  • 78. At 2:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, TwinDad wrote:

    So 7 percent of the group of children without a diagnosis of ADHD had this genetic difference, versus 15 percent of children in the group with a diagnosis of ADHD, and this is labelled as a breakthrough?

    It's either fairly irrelevant as it occurs a small percentage of genuine sufferers, OR it's highly relevant to genuine sufferers and it means the condition is massively over-diagnosed. No on knows either way, so it's not worth the hype, and CERTAINLY not worth the taglines being attached to it.

    Sadly, while I know ADHD type disorders DO exist, I have to agree with those who post on the nature of drug companies, and I would like to ask the following question:

    When was the last time a drug company came up with a effective medication that you DIDN'T have to pay to keep taking for the rest of your life? We're still using (for the most part) antibiotics designed wayyy back in the day, and genuinely useful new products in this field seem few and far between.

    You don't seem to see many cures heralded in the media, but long term disease modifying drugs abound. Why is that?

    Also, I have personal experience of what difference a "traditional" family structure, with consistent boundaries, positive rewards and appropriate discipline (no violence!) can have on kids who I'm sure had people falling over themselves to label with some form of ADHD/ODD.

    My mate fosters, and I know two of his charges quite well now, met them at the beginning when their chaotic home circumstances left them dead eyed and constantly breaking stuff 'cos they didn't know how/ why not to (ADHD?) and having no idea whatsoever how to interact with the world around them (Aspergers?). You wouldn't recognise them now, and not a behaviour modifying drug in sight!

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  • 79. At 3:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, thewiglet wrote:

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder??? If a child does not receive attention, then it becomes hyperactive and 'plays up' or misbehaves? Is that how it works?....................LIKE EVERY CHILD IN THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE,THEN?

    It is not a disorder, it is NORMALITY!!!!

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  • 80. At 3:04pm on 30 Sep 2010, William_prunier wrote:

    Fair play to the critics of the journalists from the breakfast shows this morning about this issue. I really raised my head up from my morning stupour when I heard "genetic link found for ADHD." But, of course, it was nothing of the sort - I was actually surprised at the poor level of journalism by all involved. The research, at best, may have found a part of the DNA code that needs further investigation with relation to ADHD. I thought the days of poor reporting had gone after the MMR fiasco - obviously not.

    Children are all different. Wow, an obvious statement, but it needs repeating time and time again in this culture we have in education and parenting of hammering square pegs into round holes. Some children have the condition of ADHD but there are, without doubt, a significant number of parents who are seeking a diagnosis of the condition without first implementing whole scale behavour changes at home, a radical change of diet and an increase in motivation to solve the problem without packaging the child in a nice little box with a nice little pill that absolves them from any blame or responsibility. Sources for all this - 10 years of classroom practice.

    There are obviously parents who have tried all the above and have a child with the condition, there are obviously children who are suffering with this condition (I have met many over the years!) these parents, instead of jumping to defend, should join in the questioning of the lazy and poor skilled, who will scream for the diagnosis of ADHD before trying anything else. There is, of course, the matter that a confirmed diagnosis will result in extra benefits being paid. Which has nothing to do with the clamour of some to get down the doctors of course.....

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  • 81. At 3:13pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    "73. At 2:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, Arsene Wengooner wrote:
    I guess it's like your intelligence; it's a product of genetics and environment, but is largely due to environment.

    Any genetic link is probably a result of the environment of the parent i.e poor diet, smoking while pregnant etc.!"

    No. Smoking while pregnant, poor diet etc are environmental factors. Smoking can cause specific DNA damage (which is how it causes cancer) but its not going to create the same sort of DNA variation seen in all these kids.

    The simplest way to explain how an environmental factor combines with a genetic defect is oriental alcohol intolerance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction
    Many asians lack a gene called ALDH2 which helps metabolise alcohol. The ALDH2 deficiency is the genetic bit. The drinking alcohol is the environmental bit. The two together means that many orientals get drunk far faster than westerners. A nasty side effect of the condition is a tenfold risk in esophageal cancer among moderate drinkers who lack the gene. You can do nothing about the genetic problem but if you avoid alcohol then you won't run the increased cancer risk (or fall down drunk after 2 drinks!)

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  • 82. At 3:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, Billy The Bull wrote:

    At Jesuit boarding school in the 40/50's we had never heard of ADHD but we all knew that there was detention for failure to do our best classwork and the ferula as corporal punishment for causing any classroom disruption.
    The old system worked well and should never have been abandoned!

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  • 83. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, CheSparticus wrote:

    yeh its genetic if got the gene for rubish paerents

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  • 84. At 3:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, CheSparticus wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 85. At 3:20pm on 30 Sep 2010, angry_of_garston wrote:

    What caused ADHD in the 85% who dont have the genetic variation and why have the 7^ of those with the genetic variation in teh control group not got ADHD?

    This research is hardly worth the ink used to report it.

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  • 86. At 3:20pm on 30 Sep 2010, CheSparticus wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 87. At 3:21pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    #78 "When was the last time a drug company came up with a effective medication that you DIDN'T have to pay to keep taking for the rest of your life? We're still using (for the most part) antibiotics designed wayyy back in the day, and genuinely useful new products in this field seem few and far between."

    Any vaccine for starters... one jab and you're protected for life in many cases. Cancer survival rates are getting better every year, largely due to new drugs and you take most anti-cancer medication until the cancer is dead... you don't take them for life. You take Tamiflu for as long as you have flu, then stop etc.

    Remember that most antibiotics weren't designed at all: they're naturally occuring chemicals in nature and the reason we're lagging behind on antibiotic development is that we've probably discovered all the natural ones.

    There ARE financial problems with anti-biotic development though... creating synthetic ones will cost billions, the drug will be prescribed for 4 or 5 days and the patent will only last 5 years. A pharmaceutical company will not recover its development costs on Penicillin-Mark II before the patent expires and anyone else can make the drug for pennies. No-one would expect Ford to make a car that will guaranteed to lose the company money or for Barclays to offer a mortgage at 0% interest so why would a drug company do this?

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  • 88. At 3:34pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jonathan Trapman wrote:

    ADHD is just an excuse for unfettered upbringing. Genetics are the establishment's way to deny personal and corporate responsibility. What has happened between the days before ADHD and now is purely food chain, enviro pollution, social pollution, corporate corruption and educational meltdown both personal and collectively - ADHD = Another Dreadful Hoax Directive

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  • 89. At 3:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, U14532624 wrote:

    I thought ADHD was just a excuse for bad behaviour

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  • 90. At 3:41pm on 30 Sep 2010, YorkshireMag wrote:

    Steve Edwards.

    This may well help explian the rise in ADHD.

    People with ADHD and other conditions in the Autistic spectrum like a well organised regimented lifestyle where they now where they should be and what they should be doing. Before the condition was so well known it often went undiagnosed and these people found work where they would be happiest. One of these career paths most often chosen was to serve in the armed forces. Now remember that we have had two world wars in the last hundred years in which many many lives were lost, and the ensuing troubles in Oman, Northern Ireland and other conflicts. These losses would have removed a large percentage of ADHD sufferers from the population. Now the Armed forces no longer take people with ADHD there is a increasing percentage of the population with this condition, either diagnosed or not, who are becoming parents and passing it to their children. In the 50's 60's and 70's kids were allowed to go out to play, they would kick a ball or ride thier bikes and get lots of exersice and come home happy and tried. Now we have kids who have nowhere to play, (due to the selling off of playing fields etc) spend all their time on computers and are kept in most of the time for fear of paedophiles.

    Now to those who say its just bad parenting....

    Not all ADHD sufferers are "Dole claiming scroungers and layabouts" I have worked all my life and run my own ITC consultancy. My parents are both degree educated, as is my sister, I could have gone to University as well but chose to Join the RAF. I have an IQ of 147. I was brought up well, ate well and coped well at school but was often told I could have done better or I needed to pay more attention. So to those who say ADHD is just an excuse for bad parenting or poor diet I say get off our backs
    and think yourself lucky your kids don't had any problems!

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  • 91. At 3:45pm on 30 Sep 2010, Paul wrote:

    "50. At 1:32pm on 30 Sep 2010, SeaSyde wrote:

    As someone who suffered from ADHD as a child I find it insulting and highly anoying that "Genetics" are blamed for something that is so easily and provably solved. ADHD is entirely linked to diet."

    There is no proof of this, show us your research. BTW were you diagnosed ADHD or were you just a hyperactive child? there is a difference.

    "More information needs to be presented to parents regarding diet and it's effect on mental state as well as further training on doctors"
    pot calling kettle...

    I realise that diet can affect behaviour i.e. too many E numbers, sugars but ADHD is more than just hyperactivity.

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  • 92. At 3:46pm on 30 Sep 2010, Eleanor wrote:

    The research I would like to read is not so much about trying to establish a genetic cause for ADHD, but to find out why there is suddenly and progressively a greater manifestation of this "condition". My personal feeling is that diet and early years parenting are huge contributory factors. Children need to be weaned onto good nutritional solids and fed well balanced food containing all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Somewhere along the way, it seems that the easy option for feeding children has - in a large number of families - taken over with children losing out to their long term detriment, as they take in so many sugars, saturated fats and additives. I also think that reading to children on a regular basis, listening to them and helping them as they develop their communication and speech patterns, and concentrating on some calm, quiet time every day is also essential. The plain fact is that some kids today just don't have any set boundaries for their behaviour, don't know how to be still and quiet enough to pay attention, and have worked out that making a big fuss gets you noticed!

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  • 93. At 3:47pm on 30 Sep 2010, gower_owl wrote:

    This misleading hype is typical of Cardiff university's spin machine (sorry, press office) but it's unfortunate the the Lancet is equally lax. For once, the BBC attempts to analyse the story rather than falling for the bait fed to the media about new (often uncompleted) medical research by university and multi-national PR departments.

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  • 94. At 3:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, Eleanor wrote:

    My post appeared as awaiting moderation and then disappeared - why?

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  • 95. At 4:02pm on 30 Sep 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Professor Anita Thapar: "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children".
    Professor Anita Thapur seems to have made an "jump" conclusion. According to her own figures, seven out of eight of the ADHD group did NOT have the genetic variant - seven out of eight!
    Professor Thapar explains this fact be saying that genes alone were responsible for ADHD but rather a complex mix of genes and environmental factors. Didn't we know this before Thapur's study?
    Professor Thapar said that ADHD could not be dismissed as being down to bad parenting or poor diet, but in some cases these factors might be the cause.
    She hoped the research would remove the stigma associated with the condition. What stigma would that be?
    Poor parenting and polution in the environment?
    This study does not support the definitive assertion which labels ADHD as genetic; rather the study, by making the condition genetic suggests that nothing short of medical intervention can help, and that sounds to me like an advertisement for Ritalin. Ritalin itself is subject to questionable utilization.
    It has recently come to the attention of the DEA, that Ciba-Geigy (the manufacturer of the methylphenidate product marketed under the brand name Ritalin) contributed big miney to CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD), the largest ADHD support organization. CHADD sponsors parent support groups, convenes meetings.
    The DEA has concerns that the depth of the financial relationship with the manufacturer was not well-known by the public, including CHADD members that have relied upon CHADD for guidance as it pertains to the diagnosis and treatment of their children.
    A recent communication from the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), expressed concern about non-governmental organizations and parental associations in the United States that are actively lobbying for the medical use of methylphenidate for children with ADHD. The INCB further stated that “financial transfer from a pharmaceutical company with the purpose to promote sales of an internationally controlled substance would be identified as hidden advertisement and in contradiction with the provisions of the 1971 Convention (Article 10, para 2).”
    Of particular concern is that most of the ADHD literature prepared for public consumption by CHADD and other groups, does not address the abuse potential or actual abuse of methylphenidate. Instead, methylphenidate (usually referred to as Ritalin by these groups) is routinely portrayed as a benign, mild substance that is not associated with abuse or serious side effects. In reality, however, there is an abundance of literature which indicates that methylphenidate shares the same abuse potential as other Schedule II stimulants.
    As a consequence, parents of children and adult patients are not being provided with the opportunity for informed consent or a true risk/benefit consideration in deciding whether methylphenidate therapy is appropriate. Another area of concern is that children under the age of 6 are being treated with methylphenidate contrary to labeling guidelines. In addition, children are remaining on medication for longer periods of time, frequently into adolescence and adulthood. Given recent drug abuse trends which indicate that adolescents are abusing methylphenidate with serious consequences, the above issues require close consideration by health authorities.
    Just two years ago doctors were urged by NICE not to rely on Ritalin alone. Support and training for parents and teachers were identified as of key importance in helping children control the condition.

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  • 96. At 4:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, chateaulafite wrote:

    A much more balanced approach than Prof Thapar's and her subsequent semi-retraction is not really sufficient.

    But this is just an example of the age-old "nature vs nurture" debate, as I've argued here: http://billynojob.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/nature-versus-nurture-the-battle-that-cant-be-won/

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  • 97. At 4:14pm on 30 Sep 2010, stevegrant wrote:

    Having worked with children diagnosed with this condition I can safely say that the children who have the complaint are different in the way they behave. They seem to be operating on a different level to ordinary children and come across as mentally unstable at times.It can't be the fault of parents because you can have several children in a family and perhaps only one has the complaint.As these children get older than can become quite a handful and I would like to bet many end up in prison or mental hospitals. If there is now research suggesting a link to their DNA then it should be pursued as a matter of urgency. Forget the doubters,because they all have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.

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  • 98. At 4:27pm on 30 Sep 2010, point123 wrote:

    I find it really boring and uninspiring, people ranting on about how ADHD is just naughty behaviour ??????

    Have these people been diagnosed? Is that why they comment, because they are naughty? personal projection?

    Do they actually know anyone with ADHD? Spend quality time with anyone with ADHD?

    Or are you just someone who has to much time on your hands, observing and judging your fellow men?

    I guess so!!

    Unless you live with someone with ADHD 24/7 then you would know how hard things can be!

    Adhd is not naughty behaviour! Its real! As real as you and I!!!!

    Keep your petty wasted judgements to yourself and get out of your box.

    Its a shame, although you were so obviously brought up with a silver spoon in your mouth, that you were never taught to be well mannered, or well educated!

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  • 99. At 4:27pm on 30 Sep 2010, kaybraes wrote:

    Another non illness, fashionable and handy to blame for poor parenting and a lack of discipline or indulgence by poor parents on the child. As for the so called research, the people who did it are already admitting that it is flawed and unsubstantiated. It seems to be more scientific grant money wasted on unrequired research.

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  • 100. At 4:28pm on 30 Sep 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    15. At 12:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, RightWingIDBanned wrote:

    ADHD is a label not a disease. The finding that 15% of children labeled as having ADHD had the genetic marker and 7% without had the same marker suggests that there is no correlation at all.

    --

    With those numbers of cases and controls there is a 0.00000000000017 probability that you would record 15% with the genetic variant in one group and 7% in the other group by sheer chance if there were no correlation between the variant and ADHD.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson%27s_chi-square_test

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  • 101. At 4:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, angry_of_garston wrote:

    Ritalin ... its a caning in tablet form

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  • 102. At 4:31pm on 30 Sep 2010, point123 wrote:

    It would be interesting to here people's opinions on Schizophrenia, bi-polar, autism?? etc etc is that bad parenting????

    I think not !!

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  • 103. At 4:40pm on 30 Sep 2010, jacqui stedman wrote:

    I have two children with ADHD and aspergers syndrome i have known one of them has had ADHD from birth.i have always believed it was hereditary and both of my children are fully diagnosed and statemented.
    Living with ADHD on a daily basis is extremely hard work and not down to bad parenting.
    I am a very good mum and have fought for the boys education been to 8 tribunals and 2 lots of high court in London.
    the first week my son was born he only slept for 3 hours, day and night for the first week. He has been hard work ever since but is now in the most appropriate education and is guided in the right direction all the time.H has also just got 6 GCSE's.

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  • 104. At 4:54pm on 30 Sep 2010, FriendlyNemesis wrote:

    The reason why an individual thinks, experiences life, acts, and feels, the way they do, will always be down to some cause or other. I'm unconvinced any of us have any real sway in who we are. Even if we are able to drop 'bad habits' or start 'good ones' it has to be down to an ability to do so, and the ability to stick with what was needed. Which in turn isn't something can show we have much sway over. It leads to deep questions about what we mean by who we are.

    But a society can not afford to allow an understanding of cause to be used as an excuse to continue antisocial behaviour unchallenged. Unfair to individuals it may be, but society has to define boundaries and enforce them in order to survive, and offer a decent place to live. To say it is just how the affected individuals are, that they can't help it, is unfair to the rest of society.

    The real questions are where does society has the right to say what will and won't be allowed, and what should the authorities leave to individual choice as to how they live their own life without interference. And also as to what to do when a boundary has been transgressed in order to get the best result in future.

    So ADHD is thought to be caused at least in part by genetics. It had to be caused by something, and dealt with using best parental and authority practice. Unless it sheds light on better ways to treat the problem, the knowledge doesn't change much.

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  • 105. At 5:01pm on 30 Sep 2010, This is a colleague announcement wrote:

    When I was a kid we didn't have constant adult supervision to whom we could be a problem. Motorists slowed down in play streets and people didn't worry so much about all sorts of things, rightly or wrongly, so the kids could be as hyperactive as they liked and it was no problem to anyone except other kids by and large. They tired themselves out and were calm enough to then behave reasonably at school on the whole.

    Kids need open spaces, even reasonably sized gardens or backyards, where they can go as wild as they like without needing an adult present to be exasperated by them.




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  • 106. At 5:02pm on 30 Sep 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    100. At 4:28pm on 30 Sep 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    With those numbers of cases and controls there is a 0.00000000000017 probability that you would record 15% with the genetic variant in one group and 7% in the other group by sheer chance if there were no correlation between the variant and ADHD.

    --

    Sorry, make that 0.000052.

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  • 107. At 5:09pm on 30 Sep 2010, U14366475 wrote:

    Another silly name for bad behaviour due to bad parenting, poor discipline and other social issues.

    ADHD was unheard of when I was growing up, but then again kids where better behaved back then. So I guess this "genetic disorder" has come about in the last 30 years or so. Rubbish.

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  • 108. At 5:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, Kelly wrote:


    These idea are rather like a dictionary.
    New words come into vogue that have never, ever, been in literature.
    Dictionaries become bigger; though use of some words change or may die.
    We invent words-names as we progress through the eras of wording usage.

    The similarity...
    If we have not got a name for a disease we can INVENT one.
    Inventing diseases becomes vogue for fame of association.

    Are all diseases genuine or are some a figment of practitioner error?

    Are Alzheimer's and Dementia diseases or a condition?
    Medical advances means death is an ambiguous state.
    Our usual interpretation of death is a CONDITION and is not a disease.

    Because we now try to categorize everything an unbounded error occurs.
    Is there any normal people who are NORMAL?

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  • 109. At 5:14pm on 30 Sep 2010, Twinsplustwo wrote:

    I have listened to this debate all day and quite frankly am totally mystified as to how two so called "experts" feel mudslinging is going to assist in the worthwhile investigation into the causes of ADHD.

    Any parent with a child with an ADHD diagnosis, particularly if they have other non-ADHD children, is likely to tell you it is a combination of nurture and nature. To my mind there is absolutely no doubting the genetic link, ADHD runs in middle class, fully functional families I know and pursuing accusations of bad parenting do an incredible disservice to the hard work of bringing up a child with ADHD. Imagine a child waking screaming and shouting every morning at 6am, threatening siblings, running away, self-harming, and frequently excluded from school. The parent of that child has to work 24/7 doing so and protecting the rest of the family in extreme circumstances. Apportioning blame is disrespectful and insulting. If you haven't been there you have NO idea.

    Oh, and my other three exhibit no such behaviours, all parented the same way, and actually the child with ADHD had the calmest pregnancy of the lot. Without Ritalin he would have been permanently excluded and we would all suffer. As it is he has happy, manageable and has friends. Time to stop Ritalin-bashing, support parents and fund decent research.

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  • 110. At 5:16pm on 30 Sep 2010, PAUL WILLIAMS wrote:

    ..amazing ,how we ever got to 2010 as a race isn't it? I've seen school parties out and about ,museums etc.recently .. usually just a noisy undisciplined rabble. How many more excuses for bad parenting can we think up ? Attention deficit? There were always children who were less attentive than others. We're not doing the children any good here, being polite about things. A good slap gives you something to focus the mind ,always has done ,child or adult!You never know, a good slap might still work today! Not slapping kids hasn't been a total success has it? Why all this 'psycho babble' these days.. money to be made? That's usually the case! Research this, research that, maybe we should research why we have so much research. Let's face it, some people are less able than others overall, that's always been the case. You find your place on the ladder of life and you accept it. Sit still boy! I'm off, playtime!

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  • 111. At 5:18pm on 30 Sep 2010, Melchizedek wrote:

    I hope I’m not alone in being alarmed at how eager Professor Anita Thapar appears to want to politicize this whole debate. "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children". The brains of children that have experienced acute trauma as a baby (or within their first year) develop differently. If the growth of the brain in early life is affected by extreme fear/shock brought on by separation or neglect then this missing DNA could be a correlation and not the causal link that has been jumped upon. ADHA has been diagnosed in many cases of separation – for instance in adoptees – and I think at times far too readily. Bottom line; fear is distracting. We need a more detailed analysis of the evidence and no politics please.

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  • 112. At 5:21pm on 30 Sep 2010, Freedomknight wrote:

    Experts are claiming that both appear to be causes of this but that Nurture is the far greater proven cause. Apparently both are remediable by really good teaching methods. This sounds like a pre-sale hype for a new drug.

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  • 113. At 5:27pm on 30 Sep 2010, Count Otto Black wrote:

    I guess it's up to doctors and scientists to determine the cause (or causes) of ADHD and this paper, inconclusive though it is, is probably just one of many that will contribute to the research.

    Maybe ADHD is a set of symptoms that can be caused by genetics or environmental factors or bad parenting - or any combination thereof - or maybe it does have one root cause that is as yet undiscovered.

    As a sufferer of MS I'm reluctant to dismiss things like ADHD as simply 'bad parenting' because there was a time that MS was thought by some to be 'psychological' until they developed scanners good enough to see the actual scarring on the brain.

    Either way, I don't think this is the sort of thing a lay-person will be able to contribute much to. The sort of people who will be able to contribute are doctors, scientists, specialists in the study of ADHD and sufferers (or parents of sufferers) themselves.

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  • 114. At 5:32pm on 30 Sep 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Reading through the huge list of posts, I cannot but help admiring the bravery of those owning up to suffering from ADHD or having to cope with ADHD in the family. It is easy to tell from the posts, that other people have absolutely no idea how stressful it is for families and individuals to cope with such a condition. There should be more research. From what I see on a daily basis, there appears to be about 6 children in a group of about 30 children who are not functioning normally.
    There may be a link with parenting skills. Perhaps the parents of the malfunctioning child has to cope with their own functioning issues.
    There may be a link with the chemical pollutants that have been spewing into our urban environments which our children have to cope with on a daily basis.
    Is there a link to increasing traffic pollution and brain malfunction?
    What about the old style dental fillings?
    There may be a link with the chemical additives in our water supply and in our food.
    Perhaps there is a link between vaccination and brain malfunction.
    The malfunction could also be partially due to growth hormones, as the disorder settles down quite considerably after puberty.

    I frequently work with children who are malfunctioning.

    The predominant symptom is FEAR and unrest. Those with ADHD are actually quite fearful and need calmness to reduce the effects on their adrenaline production. These children are so anxious that they become tired very easily and need frequent breaks from stress causing activities. These children need to cool down more frequently, yes, cool down. I have noticed that these children need to drink more often than others. Large groups of people, crowded rooms, new and challenging activities, new faces and new life situations all cause unbearable stress to the child with ADHD.

    Anything that is causing the brain to malfunction is going to show external symptoms. Anything that appears odd or different has the effect of alienating other people. If a person becomes isolated, alone and misunderstood their behaviour deteriorates.

    Perhaps in a kind, warm, loving, stable environment the effects of ADHD are reduced to a workable level. I strongly believe that there are many children with ADHD and related disorders in ALL areas of society. Those who are poor will have less access to resources that will help them with their situation.

    If ALL of these children had frequent access to activities that develop their courage and social skills there would be less of a problem.

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  • 115. At 5:37pm on 30 Sep 2010, knellerman wrote:

    I was diagnosed with Asperger's and AHDH at the age of 50.

    I was prescribed Ritalin. I lifetime of debilitating background anxiety was lifted instantly.

    I gave up drinking and smoking completely within a month, after struggling to give up all my life.

    Ritalin has probably helped to increase my life expectancy. Perhaps some of you know-it-alls should look st the mortality figures on people on the spectrum with our "invented" condition.

    The ignorance and arrogance from some of the posters here - added to that of Oliver James - is very, very sad.
    We are at the stage with this condition that the US Southern States were with black people in the 1960s, or the South African Apartheid system.

    Let's see, all black people are stupid, aren't they, and inferior to us "whites". Like "all AHDH children are just naughty and not a superior as me who could behave myself properly as a child.|" You will be telling us next that AIDS is a "gay plague", and being gay can be cured.

    Ritalin is NOT a mind altering drug. It is also NOT addictive, although it can be to someone who does not need it.

    Ritalin does not make me high or low, it just makes me feel "middle".

    It seems that in common with many people on the AS spectrum and with ADHD, I have an "insult" to the frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain which involves, among other things, planning, organisation and social interaction.

    Because of this "insult" my brain does not take up dopamine in a "normal" fashion. This is perhaps why people with Apserger's and ADHD are at a higher risk of addiction in later life. If you body want food it seeks it out, if your body needs dopamine, it seeks it out. ANd if you brain needs dopamine it will find it through, booze, gambling, dangerous sports, drugs... and in children hyperactive behaviour.

    All the Ritalin does is assist you brain in regulating its NATURAL dopamine supply, it is not adding any chemical to your body which is affecting your mood or your thinking process. Therapy, of course, is also helpful to unravel the patterns of behaviour and deep-seated thinking that can accrue as a result of long-term vitamin deficiency.

    Think of it like Insulin, which merely regulates a natural process. Because Ritalin acts in the area of the brain, everyone gets spooked about it.

    And as for you old timer who say that ADHD or Asperger's did not exist in your day. Well many social conditions such as wife-beating and homosexuality, were swept under the carpet in the good old days.

    You need to read the many stories of adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD as adults who spent their childhoods in homes for maladjusted children. And then there were the many who ended up in prison or with an untimely death.

    People with Asperger's tend to have high IQs. Mine is 145. I thank God for my condition which has allowed me to keep an open mind a apply intellectual rigour to such topics. To rely on your own random observations to pontificate on this subject is just ridiculous, and the type of thinking one might expect from the ADHD "thickos" you quite happliy demonise without a clue as to what you are talking about.


    In this debate, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. Oliver James says that there is no genetic evidence linked to mental health problems.

    But is Asperger's and ADHD a mental health problem, or just a different way of thinking and living. Is it the mediavel attitudes of James and his followers that actually then go on to create the mental health problems?

    Each ADHD child is as different as the other ,just as each non ADHD child is different from one another.

    Of course there are SOME children who have ADHD AND behave badly, there are SOME children whose symptoms can be exacerbated by their diet and no doubt there are SOME children whose condition is worsened by poor parenting.

    But please spare us the argument that it is all caused by such and such.

    CHildren with Asperger's and ADHD play out their condition in as many different ways as do "normal" children.

    Because I have been misunderstood all my life, I have inadvertantly become a student of "misunderstanding".

    But this latest debate has led me to realise what a bunch of peasants you neurotypicals really are. I much prefer the company of Einstein, Sir ISaac Newton, John Lennon and many others whose intellect and creativity marked them out, but who were almost certainly on the spectrum.

    You see us people on the spectrum have been for centuries the ones who invents things, make the money and create nice art and music for you to enjoy. And in return we have to take your pea-brained rubbish on a daily basis until we give up because of your tedious stupidity.

    If you feel empowered to label people with ADHD as some sort of demons, it is about time that those of us on the other side of the curtain told you what we think of you.

    So you carry on swelling Oliver James' profits, and I will carry on swelling the drug companies' profits with my Ritalin.

    I know what works for me.

    So can I now carry on my life without having to put up with your half-baked insulting, intolerant and discrimintory condemnation?

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  • 116. At 5:50pm on 30 Sep 2010, RTFishall wrote:

    It's probably caused by various factors. But I'm sure of one thing, this will give the bad parents an excuse.

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  • 117. At 6:01pm on 30 Sep 2010, chyanne wrote:

    First of all let me say if you have not lived with a child who has ADHD you do not know or understand the disorder. So called specialists told me that my son's behaviour was my fault that i should use more disaplin/sanctions and set more rules a parent can only do so much if the child is unable to understand and follow instructions. Most children with ADHD forget things very quickly and a parent has to continually repeat simple instructions a child with ADHD can either be very quiet and almost withdrawn or be very loud distructive and violent. My child can be violent and distructive. My son eats fruit veg and has omega3 every day as he hates fish his drinks have little or no sugar and all food/drinks are checked for the addatives that we know can set of his hyperactivity to a degree he can get fustrated then become violent it is hit and miss sometimes as new addatives to food/drinks are an unknown till tried.I am a single mum with 2 children one who has aspects of adhd but never needed medication although he does at times have to be reminded to calm down. It's my younger son that has ADHD/ODD and it took me 7 years to get anyone to beleive that i knew something was wrong all i kept been told was he is just naughty disaplin him. Now he is 13 and his violence is still been shown, i am still asking for anger management for him maybe now i will get some help. He is on conserta and it does help a little and no he is not like a zombie or shaking waiting for his meds but i do know when his medication is wearing of. I have had comments in the past when out like "CANT YOU CONTROL THAT KID" "HE NEEDS A GOOD SMACK" and yes it hurts we as parents of children with this disorder DO TRY OUR BEST. As a member of an adhd support group i find it helpful to chat to other parents who are in the same situation and do not judge you but understand. Maybe if more people understood instead of saying "it doesn't exsist or it's what the kids eat/drink" a study like the one that has been done in cardiff may have been done sooner. The children i feel so sorry for are those that have not been diagnosed, and also the parents that have been told it's your fault. And to finish with i have to say WELL SAID SELEZENE.

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  • 118. At 6:06pm on 30 Sep 2010, RicharddeLionheart wrote:

    Sorry could you remind me what the question was?

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  • 119. At 6:09pm on 30 Sep 2010, barryp wrote:

    When I was a school minibus driver collecting children with both ADHD and Autism it was noticable that the kids with ADHD had the worst diet. One morning one childs family was running late so Mum sent him off with a chocolate bar and a packet of crisps for Breakfast.
    Too small a sample to mean much with the added possibility that poor diet was a result of the childs problems rather than a cause.
    This published research is just a start. Lets wait 5 years or so.

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  • 120. At 6:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    WHAT

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  • 121. At 6:12pm on 30 Sep 2010, Dilip Mutum wrote:

    I know of several parents who have seen huge improvements in their kids with ADHD by implementing the Son-Rise programme at home or ABA with changes in diet and the effects seem to be long term. The problem with ritalin is that we end up depending on the drug and as soon as the drug is taken away, the problems start again. And please stop blaming the parents.

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  • 122. At 6:18pm on 30 Sep 2010, Bradford wrote:

    It's nature.

    But is also a convenient excuse for parents of children who are simply badly behaved.

    Nobody is to blame these days.

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  • 123. At 6:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, James wrote:

    Sounds to me like yet another excuse for 'thickos', who after 13+years of " education, education, education..." are being given the benefit of the doubt with 'so called' credible reasons being espoused for their lack of interest in making the best of themselves - with them handing their personal development responsibilities back to the state!

    Yet another Nu-Labor legacy that will take generations to turn around!

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  • 124. At 6:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, Tez wrote:

    As I understand the report - 1 in 10 ADHD sufferers have a genetic 'link' to ADHD. To me, That means that the vast majority of 'problem' children are mainly just badly-behaved or suffer from inadequate Parenting.

    I see this as yet ANOTHER attempt by PC 'dreamers' to remove any kind of 'blame' from everyone - but especially inadequate Parents.

    This nonsense has been seen for what it is - Socially dangerous PC...

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  • 125. At 6:47pm on 30 Sep 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    There are so many of those who state so much as quantifiable fact, when it is NOT.

    I dont even know why they are bothering about ADHD because there is presently still NO firm conclusion as to why the chicken crossed the road!!!

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  • 126. At 6:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    I think it is more important to ascertain whether there is any firm and conclusive evidence to confirm/deny any genetic evidence regarding criminals, because they are far far more of a serious and fundamental problem than ADHD or even HP.

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  • 127. At 6:56pm on 30 Sep 2010, r_fisher wrote:

    We are married parents of 3 children, one of whom has been aggressive and difficult from the age of 2.
    We do not serve or even like ready meals or fast food. The children were all breast fed for over one year. There is only one TV, and computer time has been limited.
    Our difficult child has always been disruptive at home and became increasingly so at school but was never "bad enough" to be excluded, until scraping into 6th form when they finally asked her to leave. However, the same school denied our requests that she see the educational psycholgist.
    On leaving school she had a rare quiet period of reflection (in fact it seemed more like depression) and asked to be taken to the doctor to see if she could be referred for counselling, because she herself had decided that she might have ADHD. Her suggestion was laughed at by the doctor, who also laughed at my request to advise her on diet and sleep ( which is less in the control of parents as children reach their teens).
    I have lost many hours sleep blaming myself for our child's condition, wondering what on earth we did wrong, but we are not violent or abusive, and all three of our children are loved and as well nourished as we can manage.
    Nevertheless I bear the stigma of having caused her problems, which are simply getting worse as she keeps failing at studies, at jobs and at relationships. This is very hard to bear, as is living with a dependent who is aggressive and depressed. It would help us a great deal to be able to objectify these symptoms and find some help, be it medication or counselling. Please consider what you are doing when you are calling people like me "bad parents". You can have no idea how utterly crushing and soul destroying this feels.

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  • 128. At 7:10pm on 30 Sep 2010, RTFishall wrote:

    Perhaps its my genes then that make me such a grumpy old man. What amazing things these genes are and I never thought denim was that powerful!

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  • 129. At 7:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, John Charlton wrote:

    Yet another step towards medicalising every human attribute and thus removing blame from bad behaviour.

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  • 130. At 7:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Some of the insulting things being said on this thread leave me with a feeling of disgust. Yes, I agree that there are parents out there who don't do the right thing and society pays for the consequences. But PLEASE do not tar all parents with the same brush.
    AND if some parents are not doing the job properly, who is ultimately to blame? We are all merely the product of the culture and society we are born into.

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  • 131. At 7:15pm on 30 Sep 2010, KEEPQUIET wrote:

    9. At 12:11pm on 30 Sep 2010, TheGraduate wrote:
    I had ADHD for about ten minutes, until my father gave a me a clip around the ear hole.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Shame it closed your mind.

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  • 132. At 7:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, AllyEff wrote:

    ADHD: Another Damned Health Disorder. When is this nonsense going to stop. We had fizzy drinks as the cause of poor behavior, then it was E Numbers, then it was Blue or was it Red smarties. Then it was all manner of diet deficiency and coloured drinks and now we have another theory.
    Watch this space because every defence lawyer in the country will be on the band wagon claiming their clients unreasonable behavior was due to the genetic or medical condition, ADHD. This will result in judges calling for medical reports and passing sentences akin to sending offenders to their local doctor.

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  • 133. At 7:26pm on 30 Sep 2010, GBcerberus wrote:

    Give it another week or so. There will be another opinion which states the opposite.

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  • 134. At 7:28pm on 30 Sep 2010, weareacc wrote:

    The level of ignorance in some of these comments is matched only by the ill-informed nonsense and reliance on anecdotal fallacies that accompanies them.

    It would be laughable were it not for the very real pain and suffering caused by 1) having ADHD and 2) turning the guilt you feel about the way you behave inwards, because of armchair experts continually advising you that there's nothing wrong with you and it's time to snap out of it.

    Wouldn't it be great if Some Guy from Cheltenham could cure my ADHD by posting a comment saying it was all my mother's fault (sorry, but you're 25 years too late and she brought me up fantastically), or that it was invented by drug companies (too many holes in that one to even start).

    Thankfully, the dinosaurs are dying out (or moving on to deny some other poor group of sufferers) and the people with the knowledge to help are willing to do just that.

    ADHD ruins many lives - suicide rates attest to that.

    There are always going to be those who take advantage - but your rash generalisations are just as shameful as the actions of those that do.

    As a starter, Google ADHD symptoms - it's nothing like just "bad behaviour".

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  • 135. At 7:31pm on 30 Sep 2010, knellerman wrote:

    I have realised that there is a new condition which is probably genetic and does not afflict people with Asperger's and ADHD.

    It is called stupidity.

    Perhaps we should start diagnosing all the "normals" and eliminate war and greed from the planet.

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  • 136. At 7:34pm on 30 Sep 2010, leathersofa wrote:

    102. At 4:31pm on 30 Sep 2010, point123 wrote:
    It would be interesting to here people's opinions on Schizophrenia, bi-polar, autism?? etc etc is that bad parenting????

    I think not !!"

    Google 'refrigerator parenting' and you will find that autism was, once upon a time, indeed blamed on bad parenting. Difficult to believe now. It is the height of arrogance to assume, as so many people here do, that science knows nothing and that the much-vaunted 'common sense' (aka 'lalala I'm not listening to scientists) will tell us all we need to know.

    And BTW autism wasn't identified till the early 1940s. Does that mean there were no autistic people before that? No. It means that they were called 'imbeciles' and 'idiots' and locked away in long-stay hospitals. Naming something does not call it into existence; it just identifies a set of symptoms as a particular condition that can be treated. We can all remember boys at school who were incapable of behaving themselves, no matter how much they were beaten. They probably had ADHD and they will mostly have disappeared into prisons and mental hospitals by now. If boys who are children now can be saved from this fate, then great. Let's do it.

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  • 137. At 7:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, youngtruebrit wrote:

    ADHD is a fabrication, a badge to excuse poor parenting - failing to set boundaries, failing to say 'no you can't'. Bad diet and bad sleep patterns are often a contributing factor too. ADHD covers all!!! As a teacher I see the effects of this every day

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  • 138. At 7:52pm on 30 Sep 2010, Mrsaek77 wrote:

    5 years ago I was cynical of ADHD. I felt it was simply due to poor parenting and poor diet, following the opinions generated by the press. I had no personal experience of a child with the condition (or so I thought) but readily expressed my opinions without true basis.
    I am a graduate, and my husband is a highly skilled worker. We have been married for 9 years, together for 15 years and love each other. We have two children, an 8 year old and a 5 year old. We do not claim benefits and have a good household income (not that this should alter your opinion of our circumstance).
    My 8 year old is very successful at school, working at a level 2 years above her age. My 5 year old has been excluded from school twice within his reception year (aged 4), and was only allowed to attend on a part time basis for the whole year. He is not violent or aggressive. He is not abusive and does not know any swear words. He finds it very difficult to deal with stressful situations and others find his response very hard to cope with unless aware of techniques to pull him through his anxiety.
    He does not exist on a junk food diet, eating a well balanced selection of food. He was breast fed in line with WHO guidelines until his second year.
    He is a wonderful, kind loving boy and I decry any of you naysayers to disagree (he recently "saved" a bird from being attacked by a cat, merely scooping up the bird before hiding it in a cupboard to protect it and telling an adult where it was).
    The diagnosis of ADHD has left my family reeling. He is the same boy, but with an extra label which many feel happy to mock and disbelieve. He does not require stigmatisation. He merely requires understanding and support, something which seems very much amiss.

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  • 139. At 7:54pm on 30 Sep 2010, Waspsnest wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 140. At 7:58pm on 30 Sep 2010, Martyn Norman wrote:


    I think Professor Kendall should be more troubled by the lack of biological explaination given that it's already common place for clinicians to encouraging parents to rely drugs like Ritalin to control their children.

    If a simple PET scan can detect abnormal activity found in what's believed to be Genetic suffers, then the contrary should be handled with behavioral theropy not medication.

    But very little is known about the condition so i expect for liability reasons, it's better to control behavior with medication and see results then to allow them to go on with a mental condition.

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  • 141. At 8:01pm on 30 Sep 2010, rjaggar wrote:

    What's clear is that the media are trying to simplify this story for some reason to a pure genetic disease.

    I'm afraid that's incorrect.

    All that has been shown is that there is a genetic component in a small minority of cases.

    That minority may increase as further genetic studies are carried out but I would be considerably surprised if it were a 100% genetic disease.

    The big questions to me are these:

    1. Why has ADHD suddenly come to the fore so much if it is purely genetic? Shouldn't it be well known from generations ago?
    2. What help is a genetic abnormality diagnosis to a person who needs to manage a child's actions through the day? Quite frankly, I shouldn't think they care one iota?
    3. Are there lawyers looking to take any cases to court and if so, will genetic information be used?

    To me, the media has a peculiar lack of focus in how it reports science. The questions I'd be asking are:
    1. Was the emergence of ADHD merely higher reporting?
    2. Is there any indication that genetic propensity may be triggered by external cues?
    3. If ADHD children don't respond to traditional teaching, why doesn't society design education programmes which work for them?

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  • 142. At 8:04pm on 30 Sep 2010, Michael Lloyd wrote:

    "At 12:38pm on 30 Sep 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    Your susceptibility to a virus is at least in part genetic (which explains why caucasians are more resistant to HIV than black africans) "

    Surely this cannot be - we are constantly told we are all identical. Are we now to believe that some races are genetically different from others? Surprised the moderators and/or the "usual suspects" have not been after you for racism on this one.......

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  • 143. At 8:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, catflap wrote:

    Having read some of the comments, I find it incredibly frustrating that there are still people who doubt ADHD is real. My son has ADHD, Aspergers and ODD. Before his diagnosis, I felt totally overwhelmed by the inability to control him and conventional parenting methods - naughty step, restriction of privileges etc - did not work. I agree with the people who have said that doubters need to walk a mile in our shoes in order to understand the implications of life with a child with ADHD or any other of the co-morbid difficulties. My husband and I have attended numerous parenting courses to help us learn how to deal with his behaviour in an appropriate way and, whilst my son's ODD may well be due to our inexperienced handling of his ADHD, that is not to say that his ADHD is a manifestation of our initial parenting. We have another child who is neurotypical, and has no issues. If our parenting skills were at fault, surely she would be displaying some, or all of these tendencies too? We are a middle class family who eat balanced meals, let the children watch a minimum of television and make sure they get plenty of exercise, who tried almost everything - homeopathy, allergy testing, psychologists, removing E numbers etc. - before we regretfully accepted medication was necessary. Whilst there are definitely cases of misdiagnosis of ADHD and a child is genuinely badly behaved, please do not make it any more difficult than it already is, for those people who are unable to control their behaviour. They need support and understanding, not harsh judgement. Why should I feel the need to apologise for my son's existence when we have done everything we can to ensure he has access to any possible help and we do not condone his outbursts? Indeed I am aware that I perhaps react more strongly than necessary because people make so many harsh remarks about him and I want them to see that we are trying to correct his behaviour. Since having my son diagnosed, I no longer judge others when I see their children misbehaving etc. My son looks 'normal' but has many issues, so the same may be true of them. Please put aside your ignorance and try to have a little compassion for those of us who are living with the implications of ADHD or other neurological problems. Put your shoes and and walk that mile.....

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  • 144. At 8:54pm on 30 Sep 2010, MrsEllacott wrote:

    Comment 33 - "Too much junk food, not enough outdoor time and bad parenting in general really must be key factors."

    Definately not true. I have four children. One has been diagnosed with autism and another is being referred to find out if his hyperactivity is a result of medical condition, which means he will assess for ADHD.

    My eldest is the only one who eats junk food nightly due to a major aversion to vegetables after having gastroenteritis, and is a perfectly healthy child, no medical conditions except skin allergies. My next two children are the ones who have been and in the process of being diagnosed with a medical condition, eat heathily regularly. My youngest is in the process of being weaned, so right now I cannot comment on him medically. My children are well cared for and I make sure they have everything they need even if it means myself and my husband going without.

    Any person who can even suggest that ADHD or any similar medical conidtion does not exist has obviously never had to live with the condition on a daily basis. The study might not be perfect and it certainly isn't conclusive and there is still a long way to go with the research but I certainly believe it more than I do than it being a result of poor parenting.

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  • 145. At 9:03pm on 30 Sep 2010, leathersofa wrote:

    Why is it apparently so hard for so many people to get their heads round the idea that it is very possible that a)ADHD is real; but at the same time, b)there are probably some children who ARE just badly-behaved but are misdiagnosed as having it? Just because SOME children who are said to have ADHD MAY in fact be suffering instead from being spoilt/badly-parented/badly-nourished, that doesn't mean that EVERY child who is said to have ADHD is spoilt/badly-parented/badly-nourished. It is just as unfair to condemn every child diagnosed with ADHD as it would be to say that because some people use 'flu' as an excuse to take days off work when they feel a bit tired or hungover, there is no such thing as flu.

    I really cannot understand why some people are so all-or-nothing about it. Very few things in this world are 100% black or 100% white and this is surely just another area where the truth isn't as simple as some would have us believe.

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  • 146. At 9:26pm on 30 Sep 2010, mark_2002 wrote:

    They could just have asked me.

    I have 4 children; 3 perfectly normal and 1 with broad spectrum autistic disorder. They were raised identically, fed the same food, went to the same schools, same water, same air, same everything.
    All children are just born different from each other but some are very different. It is these children that are the ADHD and similar.

    I have met so many 'expert parents' that thought her behavior was just naughty and that they knew exactly who to educate/feed/punish/beat her into niceness. At the beginning I used to feel insulted but later on I challenged them. Surprisingly not one had idea about brain chemistry or any experience of dealing with autism. Given the fight we had to go through to get a diagnosis and a place in a special school where she wasn't disrupting everyone else's education I laugh openly at anyone who suggests that AHDH diagnoses are given out easily.

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  • 147. At 9:31pm on 30 Sep 2010, DefinitelyNotNewLabour wrote:

    To all those like 'Waspsnest' who think ADHD is a myth - they should try and live our lives and stop passing judgement on something they clearly have no idea about.

    I am the total opposite of a New Labour loving, tree hugging, benefit claiming, neurotic imbecile that many nay-sayers on this blog seem to think anyone with ADHD kids must be like. Some even acknowledge that I might have a modicum of intelligence and proactiveness, (though not necessarily my wife!).

    I also know for sure that a 'good old fashioned' clip round the ear does NOT work for my son. Just because he looks normal, it doesn't mean he is normal.
    It makes me think that those passing judgement of ADHD in their ignorance must believe the earth is flat because that is exactly the way it looks from ground level.

    Take a look into my son's world...it has included being locked in a lavatory at pre-school every time he misbehaved, expelled from school at the age of 5 (yes FIVE), trying to understand why he is hardly ever invited to kids' birthday parties, regularly having to be physically restrained for hours (yes hours) at a time when he loses it and completely trashing the classroom when it all gets too much for him. This is going on whilst seeing his parents spend 4 years trying to understand and then fight for recognition of his needs. My son's sister has spent her entire life not knowing if her brother's next move is to hug her or hit her. My wife doesn't want to go out with him because she worries about what he might do and all the time he get bigger and stronger with no end in sight to the 'fun and games' after nine years.

    So the next time someone wishes to be sanctimonious on-line without knowing any of the facts, think before making yourself look like one of the 'earth must be flat' advocates.

    Fact: ADHD is real irrespective of whether it is genetic or not.
    Fact: ADHD kids often have additional issues compounding the problem such as Aspergers
    Fact: The huge strain ADHD kids put on themselves and the rest of the family is most definitely real.

    Despite all that, our son knows he is loved, he is highly intelligent and is now at a school that understand him - and believe it or not they also aren't New Labour, tree hugging, neurotic imbeciles either.

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  • 148. At 9:35pm on 30 Sep 2010, weareacc wrote:

    What is the most worrying for me is that a lot of this ignorance is coming from teachers - I never had much respect for them as a kid. As an adult I realise my instincts were correct.

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  • 149. At 9:39pm on 30 Sep 2010, holly_bush_berry wrote:

    Is this another example of poor scientific research, another professor seeking accreditation, an effort to sell the Lancet, or role play by the BBC? Could it be useful research?

    For it to qualify as useful it would need to point to valuable progress in dealing with ADHD, and, in my opinion, it does not. It is interesting that a potential link MAY exist between genetic make up and 'damaged' mental processes, but it really doesn't add to anything we already know as we may have assumed the potential of gene based ADHD anyway.

    I am mindful of the use of 'dyslexia' in describing many people with problems with literacy, and this condition was always considered a learning disorder and not of low intelligence or brain damage (i.e. genetic mental process defects). Do lazy children qualify as dyslectic? It is a moot problem.

    There is a danger that diagnosing problems poorly is its own form of ADHD, is its own form of dyslectic research. How long does it take a specialist in his/her field to say "what the hell?"

    So does this 'research' indicate our recent and deepening entry into very, very dangerous territory?

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  • 150. At 9:57pm on 30 Sep 2010, milvusvestal wrote:

    I never cease to be amazed at the gullability of some so-called professionals.

    Can't they see the wood for the trees? All these kids are doing is taking advantage of a situation made in heaven - sympathetic adults who should know better, but are content to be hoodwinked into thinking there is something slightly abnormal in a child's make-up that makes him behave as he does.

    In my day, lads like that were given the cane. A no-nonsense policy was something they hadn't bargained for, and they learned very quickly to pay attention in class for fear of another caning.

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  • 151. At 10:02pm on 30 Sep 2010, markcooper wrote:

    Quote Fergus Walsh:
    "I have done the sums and around 15% of the ADHD children had the genetic variant and about 7% of the control group did not."

    This is arithmetic, not statistical significance - yet another example of "Bad Science" by the BBC. Useful for engaging misinformed debate, damaging for scientific research!

    It would be good to see an informed overview of the details of the study, rather than a dumbed down misinterpretation!

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  • 152. At 10:18pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jeff Martin wrote:

    I can't say I'm surprised they've found a genetic link. Parents who have lived on a diet of processed and junk food have ingested a cocktail of chemicals that has affected their children. It's therefore inevitable that some children have a neurological disorder. It's the same with anyone with a neurological order. What is worrying is how these children will develop as they grow up. We are (possibly) creating a generation of dementia sufferers.

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  • 153. At 10:19pm on 30 Sep 2010, Count Otto Black wrote:

    I note there's the usual HYS divide here. Anyone who's never suffered from ADHD or been close to someone suffering from ADHD thinks it's a load of bunk and is down to 'bad parenting'. Where, I wonder, did these people their medical degrees? Online from Degrees-R-Us for $20 I guess. And where did they get their ADHD expertise? The Daily Mail?

    Clearly the medical profession at least suspects there is more to ADHD than mere bad behaviour and, whilst I have no doubt *some* people will use it as an excuse for bad parenting, I do not believe everyone does.

    Some people use a bad back as an excuse not to work when they're perfectly capable of doing so, yet bad backs do happen and some people suffer greatly as a result.

    I'd be prepared to bet that science pins this down to more than just 'bad parenting' eventually, whether it turns out to be genetic, dietary, viral or something else (and they'll do so with evidence rather than mere opinion).

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  • 154. At 10:24pm on 30 Sep 2010, Turbo Pussers wrote:

    I am a 25yr old man with a full time job and a loving family. I was diagnosed with ADHD at +-6yrs old. I was prescribed ritalin and took it for the majority of my school life. It helped, but barely. It was only when I learned that ADHD is NOT an excuse to under-perform and that in life NOBODY cares. I realised that my life was mine and only mine to make or break. Thats when things turned around.

    It is always easy to blame something, or someone, else for your problems. I was horrified by the guest that was on the BBC today. Blaming his life failiur on ADHD. Instead of labling ADHD as your issue try fixing the real issue.

    The mindset that makes people think its OK to live on benafits.

    Take responsability for your own actions. Cure the real disease Stop stuffing your face with coke, sweets and the like. Do regular exercise. Set a daily routine. GET A JOB or volunteer. Fill your days productively, that way when you get to the end of the day you will be tired and get a good night sleep.

    If you have a problem DO NOT sit back and accept what the doctors say. Get a grip of yourself, your situation and overall grow a backbone.

    If ADHD is your biggest disadvantage then count yourself lucky. If you want to see real adversity pay a visit to Headley Court where hundreds of young men and women wake up every day and face life head on no matter the injury. You will see tripple amputees more driven and productive than 99% of us.

    ADHD as with any setback CAN be overcome. One step at a time.

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  • 155. At 10:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, Selezen wrote:

    After reading the comments on this site, I am amazed at the amount of "armchair experts" who are of the opinion that they can contribute valuable insight into a topic that is far more in-depth than they realise.

    For the last 7 years I have helped to raise a child with ADHD. We have three children in all, all raised in the same environment with the same methods and the same people. Only the child that has been diagnosed with ADHD exhibits the behavioural symptoms of the condition. Is this caused by parental laxity? He eats the same things we all eat - is that a sign that he is reacting to food additives like "every other child"?

    Two years ago my wife and I enlisted the help of other parents and psychiatric professionals in order to set up a website to try and dispel some of the myths and legends about ADHD and help people to understand what ADHD actually is, instead of what the popular press and chinese whispers would have us believe. So far we have been successful in helping parents and professionals improve their understanding of ADHD and put across messages like:

    Ritalin/methylphenidate is NOT the only answer
    ADHD can be managed using a VARIETY of methods working TOGETHER
    PARENTS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE CONDITION, although parents often need to learn how to deal with the condition before improvements will ever be seen!

    We live in a time where medical and scientific advances are happening all the time. Not long ago we didn't know how to treat cancer, and believed that illness was punishment from God. Instead of assuming that the medical profession is "discovering" these new conditions, we should realise that we are just getting better at recognising things that ARE ALREADY PRESENT IN OUR SOCIETY and learning how to counter them. To use my earlier analogy, if someone way back when had said "oh, this cancer thing is just another doctor's way of telling us we're going to die and there's nothing we can do about it" would any advances in cancer treatment ever have been made?

    Treat today's new for what it is: a realisation that there is something more to the condition than "bad parenting" and that it's a step closer to finding out, for better or for worse, what ADHD actually IS!

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  • 156. At 10:44pm on 30 Sep 2010, Vamos Ye Azules wrote:

    When I were a lad, there were naughty kids. Now there are bad parents, bad genes, childhood trauma, E numbers, etc.

    Yes, the research could be right, but at least the old, dark-ages approach introduced something valuable called "personal responsibility". It might be bunkum, but I think it works.

    Lets be honest, some kids experiment with their behaviour and they like to see how people will react to themselves. Bad behaviour can also be a way to test their power within a social group. Bad behaviour is both inevitable and natural in "normal" children.

    I think if we want our kids to grow up to be healthy responsible adults we have to stop giving our kids excuses and treat the as masters of their own destiny.

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  • 157. At 10:47pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jane wrote:

    I have been amazed and dismayed by some of the comments I have heard today about this study and ADHD.
    I feel qualified to make a comment as a teacher and a parent of two sons with ADHD, who both took part in this study. I should emphasise that both my children are delightful and I am really proud of them. They are polite, well mannered, bright, amusing and quirky! I can take them out anywhere. One child has a music scholarship to a top public school and the other is now settled in secondary school, despite having a rocky start. Neither has been in any serious trouble in school and their reports are generally positive. They eat well and both were breast fed as babies. Both pregnancies were straightforward and they have a loving and supportive family and, no, we don't claim benefits and the boys don't spend all their time on computers, we don't smoke and don't drink very often at all. We enjoy family days out, spend time outdoors and encourage a range of hobbies and interests.
    Despite all this, both boys have real problems with organisation, restlessness and impulsivity. They (and we) have had to work really hard to minimise these problems. The support from school is excellent for one child and varied for the other. And, yes, they do make mistakes and they do get frustrated, forget things, take risks etc. This can lead to poor behaviour but with clear guidelines and lots of praise and love this can be overcome.
    Oliver James is frightening and his assertations that every child with ADHD has experienced poor parenting are flawed. Parenting is hard for everyone- ALL parents make mistakes but children with ADHD come from a very wide range of backgrounds- how can anyone generalise like that? I am surprised the BBC has given him so much air time. From what I have heard he has no scientific 'proof' for his theories but I would be interested to read any studies he has undertaken. Do I think some children are wrongly diagnosed with ADHD? Possibly, and I am sure environmental factors or poor parenting has an impact on this condition. However, good parenting can minimise the associated problems of frustration and under achievement. This culture of blame helps no one, least of all the children with ADHD.

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  • 158. At 10:59pm on 30 Sep 2010, LogicalLady wrote:

    Is ADHD heard of in other countries I wonder? I personally have known a family where one of their three sons was diagnosed with this disorder and just felt that he was most definitely "the mother's son". By this I mean he had inherited her personality traits but I certainly wouldn't have diagnosed the mother as suffering from ADHD, just somebody with a "lively" personality. Nothing wrong with that, quite a character I thought!

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  • 159. At 11:08pm on 30 Sep 2010, point123 wrote:

    I think people are sooooooo cruel with their judgements!!!!!!!

    I have 4 children, 2 with ADHD, 1 goes to a very strict boys school, yet its the school thats says he has ADHD. We are a good family, good parents, good life style. Lots of exercise, organic foods etc etc

    My 2 other children do not have ADHD so where is the bad parenting?

    We treat all of them the same.

    People and their minds!!!! Living in their boxes!!!!!

    How can you judge anything without having first hand experience??

    Honestly, grow up!!!!

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  • 160. At 11:29pm on 30 Sep 2010, TheKingsNewClothes wrote:

    When I was at school, they had a cure for 'ADHD'. It was called the cane. Worked wonders it did.

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  • 161. At 11:36pm on 30 Sep 2010, This is a colleague announcement wrote:

    I suppose doctors have to think about something while walking between holes on the golf course.



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  • 162. At 11:41pm on 30 Sep 2010, Gabriela wrote:

    My daughter is fourteen and has been diagnosed with attention deficit and oppositional defiant disorder, although she has not been prescribed any medication. When she was only a few weeks old, it was noticed by friends, family and my health visitor that she was very restless, discontented and difficult to settle. In fact, I was worn to a frazzle and have been ever since. In other words, if anything, her behaviour has, at times, impacted on the quality of my parenting skills, rather than the other way round. Without a doubt, I would say that she was born with a challenging temperament, whatever the cause of that may be.

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  • 163. At 11:46pm on 30 Sep 2010, graham wrote:

    Not the sub-editors finest hour. The ADHD of greater interest here is in the media. There was definitely too short an attention span applied in preparing and covering this story....

    Helen Boalden wrote 18/9 Director of news "When stories are complex, highly charged and politicised, audiences rely on our specialists to give them context, assess evidence and test opinions without fear or favour."
    I wish bbc news had lived up to that today with this news story on ADHD with the classical cheap and cheerful coverage teeing up opposing talking heads "A vs B" between a geneticist and a psychologist (lots of heat mutual misunderstanding, deliberate mis-interpreation of opposing arguments, false comparisons and little light shed. It's only a blessing we didn't get more into ad hominem attacks about funding basis, research integrity and personal morality of the protagonists.....And then in the afternoon a sufferer invited to generalise from self" with insufficient focus or editing. Lovely chap but not that informative given the time allotted.

    Another media ADHD example would be endless coverage stoking up global trouble over the will he/won't he us pastor and his matches..... Wow a nutty cultist in USA with a few followers and strange views offensive to others. Nothing to see. Move along. Clearly I'll have to cut back my listening before I morph into AC Grayling levels of grumpiness about the poor quality of analysis and argument.

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  • 164. At 00:43am on 01 Oct 2010, stopdruggingkids wrote:

    I am very concerned that Britain will end up like America where kids as young as 3 take psychotropic drugs. Our education system does not need psychiatry and psychology running it !Amphetamine stimulants such as ritalin ought to be banned for use in children. They are extremely damaging to health and can cause heart defects,stunted growth,tics,mood disorders and even SUDDEN DEATH. Please go to www.ritalindeath.com
    The stimulants cause children to lose weight, some drastically. I believe all kids develope at their own rate as they are all different and they need to be allowed to grow up naturally without class A drugs! What is the world coming to when profit comes before our precious children. Its an utter disgrace!!.I notice the latest so called GENETIC
    findings were funded by The Wellcome Trust,a drug company! How convenient.!

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  • 165. At 01:17am on 01 Oct 2010, Turbo Pussers wrote:

    Funny thing is, the only comfrontational people on this site are the "Good Parents"

    Just an observation ofcorse........

    All of these parents saying that the ADHD child eats the same food as all the other kids.....

    Thats like saying "I fed my diabetic son the same bag of sweets I fed my healthy child"


    Nobody is saying that ADHD does not exist, well I'm not, I have it. I am however saying that far too often people use these "Sicknesses" as an excuse. EVERYBODY has issues.

    ADHD is an ilness, BUT, it should be managed not used.

    ADHD may make it harder to concentrate, that doesnt mean stop trying.

    The only lesson I learned in my 25years with ADHD it that you have 2 choices. Controll it or let it controll you................

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  • 166. At 01:41am on 01 Oct 2010, katelamb wrote:


    All species on earth are capable of changing very quickly at the genetic level in response to environmental stresses. To call widely occurring genetic differences 'defects' or 'disease' in human children is a mistake. Our world is changing both physically and politically, causing great stress to humanity everywhere. Nature is far smarter than humans, and has, perhaps, responded to those stresses. Just because 'science' doesn't understand these differences appearing ever increasingly in children doesn't mean those differences require 'cure.'

    These children having what medical 'science' wants to call 'disorders' are perhaps evolved humans who will offer the world relief from pollution and oppression. I would imagine Neaderthals saw Cro-Magnons as being anomalous, yet here we are.

    Instead of drugging these children and labeling them 'abnormal,' we need to understand them and change our own perspectives. We may be their Neanderthal critics.

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  • 167. At 01:52am on 01 Oct 2010, waofy wrote:

    3. At 11:56am on 30 Sep 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:

    There is no such thing as ADHD. It is just an excuse for bad behaviour and brought about in our current "sue everyone" era. Once people start taking responsibility for their actions and accpt they are to blame, for triping over etc then the country will be a better place.


    Like dyslexia is an excuse for thick people?

    Just because something was put down to bad behaviour 30 years ago doesn't mean that's actually the case. Science has advanced in that time and, like dyslexia, we now know there is more to it.

    I knew someone with ADHD and their actions can't be explained by simply being "naughty". A lot of things they did just seemed to be done on impulse and didn't make any sense. All children do naughty things sometimes but children with ADHD seem to be physically wired so that they have less control over their actions.

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  • 168. At 02:03am on 01 Oct 2010, paul doherty wrote:

    We may aswell be talking advanced dungeons and dragons for all i care

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  • 169. At 05:36am on 01 Oct 2010, loulou wrote:

    Hi

    I was given the diagnosis of "Hyperactivity" in the late 1970's. We changed our diet and went from having processed foods to totally eliminating any foods that contained artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and fruit containing high amounts of salicylates. We also eliminated general household cleaning and personal products that contained harmful chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. By doing this we totally elimianted the so called diagnosis. My Mum also found that if we were to cheat and have processed foods that our "symptoms" would reapperar. At no time did my Mum consider giving us any type of medication to "control" our symptoms. Keep away from medication. There are many harmful side effects and some as harmful as stunting growth, heart pulpitations and causing long term addiction. We need to stop playing the victim and get on with loving our children instead of "dumbing them down".
    ADHD is not a genetic disorder. There are many artificial additives and preservatives in the foods that we eat along with harmful ingredients in personal care products and general cleaning products that can affect our DNA.
    Change the way you live first and see the amazing changes that you can experience. We did and now I am a non-medical health care professional who is very happy and healthy thanks to the changes that my Mum made for me more than 30 years ago. I can now pass my experience on to the many people who cross my path everyday.

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  • 170. At 08:09am on 01 Oct 2010, Megan wrote:

    168. At 02:03am on 01 Oct 2010, dwangeddy wrote:
    "We may aswell be talking advanced dungeons and dragons for all i care"

    Oddly enough, you may actually be talking some sense here, dwangeddy!

    Role-playing games can help people with behavioural disorders - by acting out the role of an assumed persona thay can experiment with different approaches and discover what works and what does not, and then transfer what they have learned to 'real life.'

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  • 171. At 08:57am on 01 Oct 2010, Nik wrote:

    Why oh why are the media reporting that this study proves there is a genetic cause to ADHD? Has everybody gone mad or are you all so desperate to make headlines you ignore the facts? The figures show that of all the children dianosed with ADHD who were studied ONLY 14% SHOWED A GENETIC ABNORMALITY. Sorry to shout but is that clear enough to everybody now? So as 86% have no abnormality (that's called a 'majority' in the real world) THIS STUDY PROVES THERE IS NO GENETIC CAUSE. It's completely irresponsible, and frankly baffling to me, to report the exact opposite of what this study actually shows as now all those parents will simply say "see knew it wasn't me or the rubbish I've been feeding them and now I have an excuse for taking no responsibility for my childs behaviour". Well done Beeb and the rest of the media - don't you have a responsibility to report the news truthfully and accurately. I'd expect it from some of the tabloid comics but the BBC? Another victim of the Labour dumbing down?

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  • 172. At 09:22am on 01 Oct 2010, RonC wrote:

    It seems to me that there is definite period in time when ADHD started to surface.

    I left school in 1968 and I cannot remember anyone in my school suffering such problems, yet by the time my youngest nephew who is 13 years younger went to school he was showing signs of ADHD.

    Now, did they hide all the previous cases of ADHD or was the harsh discipline compared to modern schools sufficient to keep it under control or has something changed maybe in our diet, water, air, our homes or even vaccinations to cause this problem.

    The problem is, with man interfering with nature so much I would think the true cause will never be found and on that basis is it just the course of evolution?

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  • 173. At 09:22am on 01 Oct 2010, a-champion wrote:

    I'd love to know how parenting and environmental factors are responsible for my son's ADHD...I am well educated, married, eat well, and my son was hyperactive before he was born!

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  • 174. At 09:33am on 01 Oct 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    171. At 08:57am on 01 Oct 2010, Nik wrote:

    the facts? The figures show that of all the children dianosed with ADHD who were studied ONLY 14% SHOWED A GENETIC ABNORMALITY. Sorry to shout but is that clear enough to everybody now? So as 86% have no abnormality (that's called a 'majority' in the real world) THIS STUDY PROVES THERE IS NO GENETIC CAUSE.

    ---

    So by your logic, if there were 51% of the ADHD cases with the variant then there would be a genetic cause? What if at the same time there were 67% of controls with the variant?

    The fact that 86% don't have the abnormality means that you aren't very likely to get ADHD due to the abnormality alone, but still about twice as likely as if you don't have the abnormality. It doesn't mean there's no genetic link, just that the genetic abnormality adds to the risk which comprises many other factors too.

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  • 176. At 10:50am on 01 Oct 2010, North Briton wrote:

    When will we learn that children are not stamped out by a machine to BSxxxx and therefore all the same. The range of variation in children is tremendous and will always be there. I suspect even if the "experts" tried to control who gave birth and took the child away and brought it up in a standardised regime there would still be wide variations in ability, behaviour, eating habits and all the other aspects of childhood. Some kids do not fit our concept of standard normal child. Children are individuals and it will take a lot to change that.

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  • 177. At 11:05am on 01 Oct 2010, JobyJak wrote:

    The cases of ADHD in this country have risen ten fold in the last few years.

    Is that because our children are ten times angrier or they had perviously gone undiagnosed?

    The reality is that our children are not ten times angrier and diagnosis of a condition makes people feel worse.

    Why cant we ever look at things with common sense without the need of a scientist backing up our thoughts?

    Anger like happiness and pleasure and love and sadness is a human emotion that will never be eradicated. This myth that it is a disease that needs to be cured is pure baloney.

    Without anger, how would we know what happiness was?

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  • 178. At 11:14am on 01 Oct 2010, WiseOldBob wrote:

    172. At 09:22am on 01 Oct 2010, RonC wrote:
    "It seems to me that there is definite period in time when ADHD started to surface. I left school in 1968 and I cannot remember anyone in my school suffering such problems. . ."

    My school was the same. We didn't have nut allergies, ginger abuse, sick building syndrome, SAD (Seasonally Adjusted Disorder) or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) either. Mind you: we also didn't have AIDS so I guess we just lived in better times. Oh: and no New Labour or Thatcherism to blight our lives. . .

    (It was the early '70s and Anorexia was just emerging, so I guess we were making a start).

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  • 179. At 11:28am on 01 Oct 2010, WiseOldBob wrote:

    157. At 10:47pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jane wrote:
    ". . .as a teacher and a parent of two sons with ADHD, who both took part in this study. I should emphasise that both my children are delightful and I am really proud of them. They are polite, well mannered, bright, amusing and quirky!. . .

    . . .Despite all this, both boys have real problems with organisation, restlessness and impulsivity. . ."

    that's lovely, Jane. I saw several interviews with ADHD children and their families on the various news channels and the thing that struck me was that they appeared to be completely normal, decent, charming people. I cannot understand why this is considered to be a "disorder" in the first place. I though ALL boys "have real problems with organisation, restlessness and impulsivity". Where's the problem?

    Your comments about Oliver James seem to be both heartfelt and reasonable. Personally I can't stand those dreadful cookery programmes and the advertisements he does for Sainsbury's. . .

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  • 180. At 11:39am on 01 Oct 2010, WiseOldBob wrote:

    46. At 1:22pm on 30 Sep 2010, Stephen Reimer wrote:
    "Ritalin was invented to deal with a sleep disorder where people could fall asleep whilst standing up for example. I don't know the medical term but. . ."

    Narcolepsy.

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  • 181. At 12:04pm on 01 Oct 2010, yellowsandydog wrote:

    " 3. At 11:56am on 30 Sep 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:
    There is no such thing as ADHD. It is just an excuse for bad behaviour and brought about in our current "sue everyone" era. Once people start taking responsibility for their actions and accpt they are to blame, for triping over etc then the country will be a better place.

    4. At 11:57am on 30 Sep 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:
    Apologies for the spelling above, Yes, my fault not my school teacher!"

    I wondered how long it would be before we got the uninformed "they're just naughty children" type comment. But at least we had the more intelligent comment from Knellerman, who seems to actually know about the subject, first.
    BTW, pity that was a spelling mistake. I was intrigued by the notion of triping over and wondered if Lady Gaga could be blamed.


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  • 182. At 12:12pm on 01 Oct 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    Seeing as a tiny minority of 'ADHD' kids had a genetic disorder surely this proves the opposite?

    This research proves ADHD is NOT a genetic disorder at all.

    But even if it was so what? There are lots of different people in the world, we all have our own personalities.

    That doesn't mean we should try and drug those people in to oblivion to try and make them 'normal'.

    Giving drugs like ritalin to children because you don't like their personality is SICK and the practise should be banned.

    So you have a difficult child? Deal with it. Dicipline them. Make them a rounded individual but do not try and chemically alter them because they will NEVER forgive you for it.

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  • 183. At 12:13pm on 01 Oct 2010, Nik wrote:

    174. At 09:33am on 01 Oct 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    171. At 08:57am on 01 Oct 2010, Nik wrote:

    the facts? The figures show that of all the children dianosed with ADHD who were studied ONLY 14% SHOWED A GENETIC ABNORMALITY. Sorry to shout but is that clear enough to everybody now? So as 86% have no abnormality (that's called a 'majority' in the real world) THIS STUDY PROVES THERE IS NO GENETIC CAUSE.

    ---

    So by your logic, if there were 51% of the ADHD cases with the variant then there would be a genetic cause? What if at the same time there were 67% of controls with the variant?

    The fact that 86% don't have the abnormality means that you aren't very likely to get ADHD due to the abnormality alone, but still about twice as likely as if you don't have the abnormality. It doesn't mean there's no genetic link, just that the genetic abnormality adds to the risk which comprises many other factors too.

    ----------------

    If 51% had it then it would be worth talking about and worthy of more investigation. If 67% of controls had it then that would raise the alternative question of why those children can manage to behave perfectly well without having to be diagnosed with some unproven
    syndrome.

    The point is that Prof Thapar's statement is completely irresponsible and does not tie up with the actual facts of her own research. So how is this going to help anything when we all know full well there will be a number of cases where it is down to bad parenting or poor diet and those parents will just see the headline and say "ah see, knew it wasn't my fault and now I have an excuse to let them run around out of control and there's nothing I can do about it". I'm sure I could use statistics to 'prove' a whole host of wacky theories but that doesn't actually make them true.

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  • 184. At 12:18pm on 01 Oct 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "174. At 09:33am on 01 Oct 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    The fact that 86% don't have the abnormality means that you aren't very likely to get ADHD due to the abnormality alone, but still about twice as likely as if you don't have the abnormality. It doesn't mean there's no genetic link, just that the genetic abnormality adds to the risk which comprises many other factors too."

    You see you have made a schoolboy error here. Just like the BBC do all the time with their flawed logic.

    Correlation does NOT equal causation.

    Just because a minority of kids with adhd have a genetic abnormality doesn't prove anything until you can prove the abnormaility is the cause.

    Otherwise its just a freak occurance it doesn't prove anything.

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  • 185. At 12:22pm on 01 Oct 2010, shendor wrote:

    @154 TURBO PUSSERS:

    Best comment by far. I agree 100%. I think the main reason so many people on here seem to be so personally offended by ADHD is that it seems to be used as a blanket excuse and catch-all for any undesirable childhood behaviour. How nice if it all COULD be blamed on fizzy drinks and lazy single-mothers. ADHD is 100% real, but perhaps it is 40% self-diagnosed as an excuse. This has the unfortunate effect of stigmatizing those families who REALLY have the condition.

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  • 186. At 12:27pm on 01 Oct 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:

    "Its The stuff they put into our foods a cause of this probelm? All types of chemicals and shelve life extenders? The major supermarkets would know the right answers to this question.

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  • 187. At 1:03pm on 01 Oct 2010, purple flower wrote:

    I know there are probably cases of bad parenting and single parents, chaotic upbringings etc but ADHD does still exist. I have two children and a stable family home with both parents united in providing consistent, caring parenting to both children according to their varying needs. My daughter (who does not have ADHD and is now aged 16) has always been well organised, popular, with no behaviour problems and is now mature in her outlook and well adjusted. My son however who is 12, was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago after struggling at school for several years. His attention, concentration and organisation skills meant he was unable to interact with the school day satisfactorily and was getting lots of negative comments from his teacher leading to a deterioration in his self esteem and a feeling of "being useless at everything". Having started on Ritalin things rapidly improved for him and despite a lack of recognition of the condition by some teachers at secondary school, his performance improved and those teacher who made the effort to address his needs were rewarded with positivity and enthusiasm for their subjects. At home lots of positive encouragement is rewarded with improved behaviour and attitude and now his condition is accepted, he far from using it as an excuse for bad behaviour has built on the positives. In fact he is reluctant to take his ritalin and feels sometimes he can "manage" well at school without it. A recent week off medication however resulted in some negative consequences and 2 detentions (whereas for months there had been none). All in all I would summise to anyone who thinks ADHD does not exist should try parenting a child with the condition before making this judgement. Despite our best efforts, medication has helped enormously in his school performance and I feel has a place to help children with the condition. Often teachers do not accept the condition and use unhelpful techniques such as belittling the children and portraying their negative opinions on the child which just results in them feeling worthless, useless and giving up which is sad as in my own case, my son has huge aspirations of success in life despite his difficulties. More education is definately needed both in schools for teachers and for parents who have the challenge of dealing with these children. It has been a long road of very hard work and patience to get the best results for my son who is a hugely loving, caring and likeable individual.

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  • 188. At 1:10pm on 01 Oct 2010, Sebastian wrote:

    What a rediculous question by the BBC.

    Unless there is a scientist who has worked for about 5 years on this issue on these forums, there is really nothing anybody here can say of any relevance at all.

    The people who comment here have proven that they will just rant online for the sake or ranting even if they know nothing about the subject.

    The evidence from the scientists suggest there is at least one genetic link that explains some cases of ADHD, but we simply cannot explain the other cases yet.

    If anybody disagrees with that or thinks they have an explanation for the other cases, they should either write a scientific paper or repetitavely hit themselves over the head with a plank of wood saying the word "duh".

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  • 189. At 1:12pm on 01 Oct 2010, SR from EG wrote:

    169. At 05:36am on 01 Oct 2010, loulou wrote:
    Hi

    I was given the diagnosis of "Hyperactivity" in the late 1970's. We changed our diet and went from having processed foods to totally eliminating any foods that contained artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and fruit containing high amounts of salicylates. We also eliminated general household cleaning and personal products that contained harmful chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. By doing this we totally elimianted the so called diagnosis. My Mum also found that if we were to cheat and have processed foods that our "symptoms" would reapperar. At no time did my Mum consider giving us any type of medication to "control" our symptoms. Keep away from medication. There are many harmful side effects and some as harmful as stunting growth, heart pulpitations and causing long term addiction. We need to stop playing the victim and get on with loving our children instead of "dumbing them down".
    ADHD is not a genetic disorder. There are many artificial additives and preservatives in the foods that we eat along with harmful ingredients in personal care products and general cleaning products that can affect our DNA.
    Change the way you live first and see the amazing changes that you can experience. We did and now I am a non-medical health care professional who is very happy and healthy thanks to the changes that my Mum made for me more than 30 years ago. I can now pass my experience on to the many people who cross my path everyday.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't knmow which country you were given the diagnosis because in the lat 70's there wasn't anybody over here qualified to perform that task. My son was diagnosed in Canada ans only when we came back to England in the late 80's did we realise the lack of knowledge over here. It could have been that there were substance that brought on the condition of hypher activity. Those doctors that we met were from overseas and very helpful. Ritalin isn't the miracle cure but prescribed properly can help those with the condition. Although there are studies suggesting stunting growth my son is 6'2" and drug has an effect of half an inch!! I nevr heard it causing any medical problem apart the behaviour as the drug looses it's effect called rebound. There is no correlation to drug addiction and it comes out of the system after 4 hours there's no residual amount left in the body. Analysis has shown that food addictives make up 5% of this group Dr Christopher Green and a number of doctors have done extensive reaserach into this so although your comments are well intentioned they aren't backed up by medical science. My other son had ADD without having any systems that people often quote he's only 5' 10". Make of this what you will be this does shows there's two sides to the debate.

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  • 190. At 1:51pm on 01 Oct 2010, TopperHarley wrote:

    184. At 12:18pm on 01 Oct 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    Correlation does NOT equal causation.

    Just because a minority of kids with adhd have a genetic abnormality doesn't prove anything until you can prove the abnormaility is the cause.

    Otherwise its just a freak occurance it doesn't prove anything.

    --

    An approx 1 in 135,000 chance of such a freak occurance (someone who knows A-level stats can check this from the numbers given in the article) says to me that there's something behind this correlation.

    An example of confusing correlation with causation is to conclude that owning a cigarette lighter causes lung cancer, because having a cigarette lighter is strongly correlated with the true cause.

    I'd be surprised if there was a similar strong confounding correlation such that 15% with the abnormality had worse parents or a worse diet etc. than the 85% without it.

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  • 191. At 1:58pm on 01 Oct 2010, Jane wrote:

    At 10:47pm on 30 Sep 2010, Jane wrote:
    ". . .as a teacher and a parent of two sons with ADHD, who both took part in this study. I should emphasise that both my children are delightful and I am really proud of them. They are polite, well mannered, bright, amusing and quirky!. . .

    . . .Despite all this, both boys have real problems with organisation, restlessness and impulsivity. . ."

    that's lovely, Jane. I saw several interviews with ADHD children and their families on the various news channels and the thing that struck me was that they appeared to be completely normal, decent, charming people. I cannot understand why this is considered to be a "disorder" in the first place. I though ALL boys "have real problems with organisation, restlessness and impulsivity". Where's the problem?

    Your comments about Oliver James seem to be both heartfelt and reasonable. Personally I can't stand those dreadful cookery programmes and the advertisements he does for Sainsbury's. . .


    179. Christopher- what I trying to say is that their disorganisation etc has led to underachievement and frustration on their part. They have an exceptionally low information processing speed (which is often linked to ADHD) and this means they need extra support to achieve their potential. We don't let them use it as an excuse but it is harder for them than their peers so we have put in place systems and porcesses to help them!

    I spent a long time thinking they were just boys who were disorganised, restless, impulsive etc and avoiding any 'label' for them even though I recognised the symptoms of ADHD. However, once they started secondary school they needed support and alternative strategies. Even now, despite their efforts teachers often express frustration at the speed at which they progress, given their potential.

    By the way, for those of you who consider ADHD to be a new 'condition' it was first identified in 1845 by Dr H Hoffman and studied scientifically in 1902 by George Still.

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  • 192. At 2:14pm on 01 Oct 2010, Steve Edwards wrote:

    90. At 3:41pm on 30 Sep 2010, YorkshireMag wrote:
    Steve Edwards.

    This may well help explian the rise in ADHD.

    People with ADHD and other conditions in the Autistic spectrum like a well organised regimented lifestyle where they now where they should be and what they should be doing. Before the condition was so well known it often went undiagnosed and these people found work where they would be happiest. One of these career paths most often chosen was to serve in the armed forces. Now remember that we have had two world wars in the last hundred years in which many many lives were lost, and the ensuing troubles in Oman, Northern Ireland and other conflicts. These losses would have removed a large percentage of ADHD sufferers from the population. Now the Armed forces no longer take people with ADHD there is a increasing percentage of the population with this condition, either diagnosed or not, who are becoming parents and passing it to their children. In the 50's 60's and 70's kids were allowed to go out to play, they would kick a ball or ride thier bikes and get lots of exersice and come home happy and tried. Now we have kids who have nowhere to play, (due to the selling off of playing fields etc) spend all their time on computers and are kept in most of the time for fear of paedophiles.
    ====================================
    Interesting answer and thanks. However, I'm unconvinced by your logic. There may be some truth in the loss of life in smaller conflicts, but these will not have a major effect on the % of the population with ADHD. However, WWI & WWII used conscript armies so theintake and death rate would have been the same for both ADHD sufferers and anyone else. I agree with you about childrens lives ion the 50s etc - I'm of that generation and we played all sorts of sport in the streets. However, does exercise really "de-hyper" an ADHD child?


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  • 193. At 2:20pm on 01 Oct 2010, drhuwjones wrote:

    @ PC_Hitman shows distinct ignorance common to those unable to rationally think.
    ADHD children are not by definition naughty, though many admittedly display impulse driven disruptive behaviours. many also have co-morbiditties, including behavioural disorders, specific learning difficulties, Tourette Syndrome to merely start the list, to pick on ADHD as the cause of bad behaviour is very narrow minded.

    I'm utterly amazed at some of the comments in this discussion, there appears to be many with possible undiagnosed ADHD given their "impulse" to comment on a subject they have little knowledge or understanding.

    We, as a family took part in the study, keen to see if there is a genetic marker for this condition. This does not mean we are looking for a genetic "cure" and doesn't make the management of a very impulsive son any easier. Neither would it excuse any unacceptable behaviour. It does however add to the knowledge base of the scientific/medical community, which will help to develop management stratergies useful to educate parents/teachers to bring the best out of all children when faced with a very formulaic education system which has very little room for variation to assumed norms.

    I'm proud of my son who has ADHD, he may not concerntrate for long enough to be able to fully participate in a game of rugby, but there are not many 8 year olds able to ski black runs or swim 800 meters.

    I'll end my rant now

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  • 194. At 3:22pm on 01 Oct 2010, calmac12000 wrote:

    I was unaware that HYS is now a forum for learned scientific debate, until this is the case this is quite simply not the forum to discuss such questions- end of story.

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  • 195. At 3:25pm on 01 Oct 2010, Dr Neil MacFArlane wrote:


    Don't blame the media this time, Professor.
    The history of psychiatry is littered with over-hyped claims for biological causes and treatments. Sceptical clinicians and the public often over-react by failing to acknowledge and put into practice more modest, but genuine, biomedical advances.
    Now it seems to be happening again with ADD / ADHD. A large study appears to have shown that about one in seven children with ADHD have a genetic variant, while only one in fourteen apparently normal children have it.
    But the senior author of the study has been widely quoted as stating "Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children." This appears to be Professor Thapar’s real view, because the statement came from the press release, rather than an interview with a journalist trying to get a striking soundbite.
    "What about the six out of seven who don't have this genetic variant, and how come you can have the variant but not have ADHD?" has been the response, quite rightly, from journalists and commentators.
    Whether poor use of words, or poor use of ordinary logic, either way Professor Thapar's error must put some doubt over the study itself, although I would be surprised if other research centres fail to confirm the main findings over the next few years.
    For me, as an independent adult psychiatrist with an interest in this area, another missed opportunity was the failure to highlight that these ADHD-linked variants were also strongly linked to learning disability (low IQ). Both children and adults with learning disability have poor access to diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders, including ADD / ADHD, in the UK.

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  • 196. At 3:52pm on 01 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I am going to do some serious research as a result of the response from all of you. Today I asked someone to confirm or deny my own observations about those with real ADHD. The person agreed with my observations. That person also has 15 years one-to-one experience of working with such children. I also asked a more senior leader for advice about where to find up-to-date information about ADHD.

    suggested google searches:
    curee
    ADHD

    During our discussion we also looked at the possibility of birth trauma or pre birth trauma making the innate condition worse. There appears to be a link with damage to chromosome 16 but I have yet to investigate this so I cannot confirm this to be true. It looks as if ADHD may be innate but the severity of the condition is probably dictated by other factors.

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  • 197. At 3:56pm on 01 Oct 2010, mysterymoth wrote:

    I am curious about the mathematical ability of someone who says: "it affected one in seven of the ADHD group" followed by: "That also means that seven out of eight of the ADHD group did not have the genetic variant"

    But then maybe I'm just not concentrating hard enough...

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  • 198. At 4:07pm on 01 Oct 2010, david wrote:

    Oh, misguided and confused contributors.
    You really mustn't come to Have Your Say hoping for intelligent and rational debate. That's not its point.
    Have your Say is a forum for ranting, the exchange of mis-information and bad spelling. It succeeds not in terms of quality but in terms of the number of posts.
    What a fool I am - here's one more.

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  • 199. At 4:11pm on 01 Oct 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    "190. At 1:51pm on 01 Oct 2010, TopperHarley wrote:
    184. At 12:18pm on 01 Oct 2010, bigsammyb wrote:

    Correlation does NOT equal causation.

    Just because a minority of kids with adhd have a genetic abnormality doesn't prove anything until you can prove the abnormaility is the cause.

    Otherwise its just a freak occurance it doesn't prove anything.

    --

    An approx 1 in 135,000 chance of such a freak occurance (someone who knows A-level stats can check this from the numbers given in the article) says to me that there's something behind this correlation.

    An example of confusing correlation with causation is to conclude that owning a cigarette lighter causes lung cancer, because having a cigarette lighter is strongly correlated with the true cause.

    I'd be surprised if there was a similar strong confounding correlation such that 15% with the abnormality had worse parents or a worse diet etc. than the 85% without it."

    7.5% of the control group had a genetic abnormality also.

    So your saying that a increase of 7.5% in a certain group signifies that that abnormality was the cause of the problem?

    Well i'm sorry but it doesn't.

    If the control group was 0% and the group of adhd kids was 95% then you'd have a point but a difference of 7.5% to 15% is irrelevant. It may well be coincidence.

    I suppose if 7.5% more of the adhd kids had brown hair compared to the control group you'd be saying brown hair causes adhd?

    Get a grip.

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  • 200. At 4:34pm on 01 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    To start the paper trail
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19528-have-gene-findings-taken-the-stigma-from-adhd.html?full=true&print=true

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  • 201. At 4:39pm on 01 Oct 2010, Buggerlugs wrote:

    Watch 'Generation RX'

    Disturbing stuff....

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  • 202. At 4:45pm on 01 Oct 2010, aka_bluepeter wrote:

    ADHD is an invented description of anyone displaying anti social behaviours that people in assumed authority struggle to control.
    The parameters of the disorder have become so stretched that they are impossible to define.
    For example I know quite a few people who develop ADHD at around closing time in the pub, for instance. Should Landlords slip a bit of Ritalin in their pints before they kick off?
    What the study really shows is that probably less than a quarter of the people labelled actually have a physiological brain disorder, suitably corrected by Ritalin.
    The rest have personality disorders of varying degrees brought on by the inhospitable environment in which they live and the unpleasant and uncaring people with whom they come into contact.
    'One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest' demonstrated the point perfectly of how creepy institutional care can be even more unpleasant and uncaring.
    It follows that for 75% of people labelled with ADHD, crying out for help, chances are things are just going to get worse because too few people really actually care and demonstrate that care with positive action and results.
    Unchecked at an early age they just get worse and worse and do to others the unpleasant things visited on them.
    The solution..put the word care back into social care with tough love and positive, determined and persistent care.
    We are all to blame but the institutions more so because they pretend to.

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  • 203. At 5:23pm on 01 Oct 2010, surfingkenny wrote:

    I cannot comment from a personal perspective on this but my partner works within schools, and they concluded a small survey on diet/lifestyle as part of an in house scheme to promote healthier eating etc. Finding were straight forward, 95% of children who ate fruit/veg good food and not processed junk tended to be more attentive , less disruptive and none of these children were diagnosed with adhd or any other social problems.
    100% of children who fell into the junk food catagory and drank fizszy pop, ate lots of sweets and no veg/fruit were on the schools distruptive/abusive records and almost 70% of these were diagnosed with ADHD etc. i persionally think diet contributes to this, maybe some genetics involved . Iam only 31 but at school we didnt have ADHD etc we had one or 2 annoying kids,distruptive etc and back then some kids were just thick...now days no one is just thick and a medical term is applied to it

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  • 204. At 5:59pm on 01 Oct 2010, Andrew Lewis wrote:

    The media response to some rather old news

    I have watched this ADHD Lancet story unfold with interest, sadness and resigned acceptance. I was personally contacted on Wednesday afternoon by producers from the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 (not sure what happened to ITV!?). They all called me because I run a London based (Hammersmith) Adult ADHD Support Group and hoped I could suggest interviewees for the breaking news on Thursday.
    Each producer excitedly explained to me that for the first time there was research that showed that ADHD was genetic and not down to poor parenting. They wanted a parent and child to both film and interview and to see the relief the parent would enjoy in now knowing that ADHD was not their fault.
    I am ADHD myself, late diagnosed in my forties with a physics degree and successful career eventually starting, owning and managing several small IT businesses. I am now a coach to ADHD Adults, having with the world’s largest trainer, the ADD Coaching Academy. My clients have included CEOs, GPs, Psychiatrists, teachers, nurses, PhD students, artificial intelligence researchers, architects, IT professionals, psychotherapists, students, unemployed people, singers, musicians, TV script writers and many others all diagnosed with ADHD as adults.
    When the media folks called, I explained to each of them in turn that the genetic basis for ADHD would not be news to any parent of an ADHD child or ADHD adult, as there is extensive research into the genetic heritability of ADHD, from twin studies (brought up in completely different homes and environments), to gene studies that have identified at least seven genes most of which involve dopamine transport controls and from family studies that indicate ADHD is nearly as hereditary as height. The initial observations and studies on ADD (called minimal brain dysfunction and other such pleasant names) began over 100 years ago. ADHD is the most researched of any mental “disorder” (more so than autism, bi-polar, schizophrenia etc.), with over 100,000 scientific papers, journals and books written on it to date. This was not the news story they wanted.
    I also suggested that I could put them in touch with numerous adults with ADHD who could clearly articulate the issues and discuss the stigma, they were not interested.
    I recorded much of the news yesterday and watched the news unfold with sadness. Starting as a headline item, the broadcasters enthusiastically and naively proclaimed that the Lancet had shown that ADD was found not due to poor parenting!
    In the morning they had struggled to find the clichéd “badly-behaved boys and exhausted mums” and so interviewed some ADHD adults. One of whom, a client of mine, explained clearly to the interviewer that her parents had been excellent, that she had not watched much TV and eaten well. The interviewer struggled, as she said that she had always known it was genetic and that she found life as an adult with ADHD to be harder than as a child and that she had done well at school. Not once did the interviewer follow up on her comments but kept trying to return to parenting and childhood.
    As the day progressed the media found more of the “bad boys and mums” to interview and also slowly realised that the Cardiff-based research was not that conclusive. They began to wheel out the old favorites like Oliver James to refute (quite un-scientifically) the evidence. By the end of the day the story had been reduced to the media cliché of “is it genes or is it bad parenting?”. Outside the media the reality is that in virtually every developed country, the governmental bodies (including the NHS and NICE in the UK) all recognise ADHD to be a very real neurological disorder.
    Almost all the adults that I coach were not diagnosed as children, had good childhoods, well-educated parents, ate good diets and yet struggled at school and subsequently with many aspects of life that other people find easy. They are lacking in the neuro-chemical dopamine, so are less stimulated and more easily bored or distracted than others, finding many tasks difficult - at work and at home, especially without medication and/or support. Currently it takes around 12 months and extensive consultations to see a specialist and obtain a diagnosis in London. Most of these adults were not badly behaved as children, are intelligent, and would seem to all intents and purposes normal, yet often they feel a sense of failure and sadness from failing to meet goals, keep jobs, stay in marriages, avoid addictions and enjoy life as other people do.
    I am not so naive as to think this quite silly debate about parenting will go away soon, but let’s be clear –the overwhelming majority of involved scientists and doctors are in no doubt that it is a real neurological issue. But as with any issue you can find a crank with a vested interest to put their opposite case and the media loves to stoke the argument.
    ADHD is not about pharmaceutical companies drugging normal children (for sure they want to make money) or about bad parents finding excuses (of course there are some of these) but is a very real mental difference that profoundly inhibits a significant proportion of the population, children and adults, from achieving success and happiness, that they and others might reasonably expect based on ability and intelligence. ADHD and its sufferers deserve a little more respect but I won’t hold my breath.

    Andrew

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  • 205. At 6:02pm on 01 Oct 2010, Gina Pera wrote:

    Mr. Walsh makes these statements as the BBC's Medical Correspondent? That is alarming, not to mention a gross disservice to BBC readers.

    Mr. Walsh obviously has an anti-science agenda, which has no place in medical correspondence.

    And to roll out this Oliver James character -- at first I thought that video was a comedy spoof! The man is operating in the 18th Century and, moreover, seems unable to separate association from causation. Perhaps that is because he is not trained scientist and cannot parse the literature.

    This is one study, but an important one. There are many more documenting ADHD's genetic link. ADHD is 75% heritable, almost as heritable as height (which is highly genetic). Are you going to blame "bad parenting" for a child's short stature?

    Anyone who knows the first thing about genes knows that few genetic disorders are "destiny," that there are epigenetic factors. And ADHD is a syndrome, meaning that there is great variability in symptoms among those who have the condition. (That is true for other medical syndromes, such as diabetes.)

    Newsflash: Humans are complex creatures. There is always a complex interplay of genes. There is no one-size-fits-all with anything having to do with humans. And that is especially true with ADHD.

    Perhaps we will learn in the future about epigenetic factors such as pre-conception nutritional factors in utero (that is, vitamin-mineral deficiencies in the mother that negatively affect genetic expression). Studies in mice have shown that a "simple" B vitamin deficiency greatly affects the health and even physical features of clone offspring.

    Scientists have not yet teased out the genetics or epigenetics of ADHD, but this kind of research represents progress on that path.

    Of course good parenting is important. Of course good childhood nutrition is important. Of course video games and other "high stim" activities cannot be good for the brain, flooding the brain with dopamine and perhaps downregulating dopamine receptors. But none of that is the issue here. The issue is the genetic links to ADHD, which is a real medical disorder.

    Yes, there are "behavioral strategies" that parents can use to manage these children. But guess what? These children grow up and the ADHD doesn't go away. Who is going to manage them then?

    Without medication in place at a younger age, they have not internalized Exeacutive Function skills; they simply have been operating on someone else's: the parent's. And if the parent also has ADHD (or both parents?)? The parents have equal difficulty regulating behavior.

    The medical facts are what this "correspondent" should be covering instead of propagating Old Wives Tales and pandering to an anti-science public.

    Gina Pera, author-advocate
    Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?

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  • 206. At 6:06pm on 01 Oct 2010, Gina Pera wrote:

    I propose that Mr. Walsh examine the link between untreated ADHD and substance use disorders.

    Last I heard, the UK has severe alcoholism rates. If that's not a national health problem, I don't know what is.

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  • 207. At 6:56pm on 01 Oct 2010, Unusualj wrote:

    Gina Pera & the many other parents of ADHD children in the forum thank you for thoughtful posts.

    We're spending a lot of time to make our son aware that although he has the condition its up him to work to overcome it & it's not an excuse for him not to work. He's funny, intellgient and we love him but living with him is not easy.

    To those who believe it's bad parenting then please step into the shoes of those you have to live with this condition or read up on the subject before you pass comment.

    This condition, like heart disease, cancer risk, etc is much more complex then a simplified view put forward by the media.

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  • 208. At 9:13pm on 01 Oct 2010, sparkyjim wrote:

    Just another excuse for bad behaviour in kids.

    Ah well if they don't label it as ADHD they will just have to call it ODD.

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  • 209. At 9:28pm on 01 Oct 2010, mscracker wrote:

    When one makes a suggestion that ADD/ADHD are not real "diseases" you should prepare for the oncoming deluge of criticism.
    I think it's too simplistic to say it's all made up & a ruse to make the pharmeceutical companies rich. There's something neurological going on with some children for sure. Any parent or teacher can sense that. But then you ponder on the number of children in Amish & rural Mennonite communities that are treated for these disorders. From my experiences in the past, the numbers were few to none.
    I think certain children are wired differently-not wrongly, just differently & in particular environments susceptible children will exhibit those ADHD symptoms.Do we change the child, the environment or both?
    If anyone's checked out the shrinking time slots for recess or physical activity in American schools it may parallel the increase in "ADHD" behaviors.How natural is it for young children, especially boys, to sit at a desk 5 plus hours a day? Often that's following an hour's ride to school on the bus.When you add the modern lack of parental discipline-(at least here in the States),constant access to computers & electronics, poor diet, lack of any meaningful contact with nature, & minimum exposure to sunlight & physical exercise,we might want to examine the environment our children live in & ask what needs to be changed.

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  • 210. At 01:28am on 02 Oct 2010, stopdruggingkids wrote:

    If ADHD was a real scientifically proven condition like diabetes or cancer , doctors worldwide would agree on it. However it is not and the list of so called symptoms such as "Not having any friends" are verging on medievil times,not modern science. IT is the medicalising of typical childish behaviour and is an insult to children. DRugs like ritalin can cause heart defects,weight loss,tics,liver and kidney damage,to name a few.The stimulants have caused sudden death in some chidren at USUAL prescribed doses. Please visit www.ritalindeath.com
    Why not medicalise pure greed and lying as being a mental disorder and give amphetamines to the fat cats who run drug companies. Childrens health must come before profit!

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  • 211. At 09:12am on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Perhaps we should all go back to the grass roots of the problem.
    Why do children go to school?
    Why do children go to school at particular time of the day and return home at a particular time of the day?
    Why do children wear school uniform?
    Why do children have to sit indoors, crammed next to other children for more than one hour at a time all learning the same thing in the same way and conforming to the same set of rules?
    Why do children have to learn the National Curriculum subjects as prescribed?
    Why do children take GCSE'S?
    What do the various exam boards stand to gain from schools using their papers?
    What do employers stand to gain from a child going through standard education?
    Why are the same standards used for all types of children?

    Children go to school preparation for the reality of work requirements for the 21st century.
    Some children fit in perfectly with this initial preparation and will conform to the restrictions.
    Some children do not fit perfectly into this initial preparation system and consequently do not conform to the restrictions.

    The children who do not conform to the daily restrictions of a normal school day perform remarkably well when sent to residential activity weekends. Hostile, negative, antisocial behaviour disappears and is replaced by friendly, social, co-operative behaviour from students who are normally quite difficult.

    Education is expensive and factory production styles of education work out cheaper than tailor made packages. To change the system as it is now would cost more money than is available.

    In the days before 'childhood' existed, poor children went to the factories to work. If the children did not conform they would die or end up on the streets with no social welfare to support them.

    ADHD and similar differences have always existed and probably have some genetic advantage in certain circumstances. The problem is that these differences do not appear to have advantages in our present culture.

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  • 212. At 10:40am on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Fergus,
    As you have had such a massive response to this subject could you find some more relevant leads for us to follow?

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  • 213. At 12:10pm on 02 Oct 2010, Mysterious wrote:

    First of all I am not a medic but I am the mother of three children so I feel okay about posting here. When I was a child,as far as I can remember, we had naughty children at school. We had the slipper for boys for bad behaviour and lines and standing outside the head's office for girls.We had groupings for almost every subject and you could get into a better group or worse group according to how well you worked. We did not have dyslexia,ADHD or hyperactivity because you either behaved and worked hard or you misbehaved and fell by the way-side.The only children who were on medication were asthmatics or those prescribed antibiotics. We have decided it is modern thinking to label up everybody and make us all feel a 'special' case. I think we should treat children who misbehave as being naughty,simple. We are continually looking for bigger and better illnesses that nobody has the power to treat even if these illnesses existed in the first place. Feed children properly,get them to bed early and stop getting so much psychiatric/ medical help at the drop of a hat.

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  • 214. At 2:22pm on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Paul at post 7
    Children have regularly been placed in boarding schools, convents, residential church schools etc. Boarders are all given a similar diet and similar management. There are probably enough subjects do a reasonable study. Has anyone done this? How many studies have been done world-wide?

    One thing. There is no excuse for continuous shockingly foul language and blatant disrespect towards others. That is not a symptom of ADHD, only a symptom of 'nurture.'

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  • 215. At 2:39pm on 02 Oct 2010, weareacc wrote:

    You are right, sensiblegrannie - shockingly foul language and blatant disresepect are not symptoms of ADHD. Unfortunately, your comment only highlights that you have absolutely no idea what the correct symptoms of ADHD are.

    Nobody is excusing anything about the symptoms of ADHD - the reason for that is that (genuine) sufferers are not to blame for an illness they cannot control.


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  • 216. At 4:10pm on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    post 215
    You misquoted me and missed out the word 'continuous.' If someone with ADHD is genuinely upset they will give an outburst of foul language and they can be extremely disrespectful. But this is not all of the time. When not upset people with ADHD are usually polite and respectful towards others and more often than not, kind, considerate and caring. Whereas SOME who have been labeled ADHD are just rather unpleasant opportunists who use bad behaviour to get what they want at the expense of the needs of everyone else. BIG DIFFERENCE and this is where the problem lies. How do we effectively diagnose and sort the wheat from the chaff so that those with a genuine need get full support and those who are of the other ilk get suitable punishment.

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  • 217. At 4:41pm on 02 Oct 2010, braveraddish wrote:

    no one has mentioned add p1
    sluggish cognitive tempo the opposite end of the scale of adhd.
    symptoms include
    excesive day dreaming
    fatigue/tiredness
    intolerence to boredom
    memory problems/processing problems.
    careless mistakes in school homework
    inability to start tasks/ complete them
    but hard to diagnose because an add p1 child can be a model student.

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  • 218. At 4:49pm on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    There are no 'correct' symptoms just as there are no 'correct' ways of dealing with unbearable stress. We all have different ways of expressing intense levels of stress and those with ADHD are no different in that respect.

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  • 219. At 4:51pm on 02 Oct 2010, weareacc wrote:

    Do "unpleasant opportunists" have quantifiable problems with working memory? Do they exhibit other signs of insult to the pre-frontal cortex?

    I don't see that the word "continuous" helps your cause - the sentence it was used in was stereotyping, generalising and patronising, and not just to "unpleasant opportunists"!

    To quote another article currently on the BBC - "it's not just bad behaviour".

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  • 220. At 5:22pm on 02 Oct 2010, chyanne wrote:

    Reading alot of these has upset me as it is not down to BAD PARENTING i am a good mum who has sanctions and clear boundries i feed my son the correct food and not junk food he hardly eats sweets they are a treat. His school is fantastic and help him alot. He is statmented and his TA's keep him focused in school to the best of their ability which is not always easy saying this my son is an A AND B student children with this sort of disorder can be very bright.
    ADHD has 3 core symptoms
    Hyperactivity
    Impulsivity
    Inattention
    However ADHD/ODD/ADD is more complex than these 3 symptoms beneath lie a whole range of other more subtle difficulties:
    Poor social skills hence few friends
    Disorganisation/poor time awareness
    Mood swings and angry outbursts
    Short time memory problems so instructions as forgotten
    Poor co ordination
    Low self esteem[and it does not help with people saying things like "are you stupid" "have you taken your happy pills" and "your a syco" my son has had all said to him.

    ADHD/ADD often resides alongside a secondary disorder. Dyslexia,Dyspraxia,Ashbergers,Autism,Tourettes aqnd Oppositional Defiant disorder are the most common.
    So unless you have lived with ADHD or have a friend/family member with it PLEASE DO NOT SAY IT IS DOWN TO BAD PARENTING
    You will never know what we parents go through or how we are treated and we do not need to feel worse than what we do.
    Over the years i have felt like a bad parent[but am not] i have been beaten thrown down stairs[by my son]called all the names under the sun i have been threatned by social services and had counciling as by the end of his diagnosis and treatment i was bitter angry and depressed by all the so called specialists help. Dont you think we have done everything within our power to help our children. Yes when a child is older they may be able to controll their condition but they have to be taught how to do that over the years and it is hard hard work.
    We as parents are judged and our children are judged and i for one have HAD ENOUGH.

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  • 221. At 5:23pm on 02 Oct 2010, jenny wrote:

    I have yet to meet and would be interested in hearing from anyone who has been touched by ADD or ADHD, diagnosed or not, who doesn't believe it's existence as a genuine confounding difficult disorder with very likely a genetic component.
    Do the skeptics really believe that parents want to medicate their children? When faced with the choice of leaving their children to cope with a society that is so bigoted and cruel or provide their children with the tools to help them to conform to 'normality', what would you do?

    Its interesting that the skeptics have no experience of the condition at all and yet feel qualified to pass judgement on something they clearly don't understand. The many teachers on this blog who are ignorant of the effects of ADHD on children should educate themselves and every school should have a mentor for children to go to for help.

    They used to burn witches once.

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  • 222. At 6:24pm on 02 Oct 2010, weareacc wrote:

    An open invitation:

    To sufferers/parents/skeptics/professionals and those willing to learn.

    Forums exist with a wealth of information, personal stories, theories, arguments and help. What will become obvious is that these are not stories of bad parents making excuses, children trying to get high on the latest Big Pharma product, or lazy humans of any age refusing to accept responsibility for themselves.

    These are people trying to make the best of what they have (and understand what they struggle with) in order to live as full a life as possible.

    The skeptics will then at least be arguing from a position of knowledge.

    ADDforums - only as an example (I am in no way connected to this site, though I do post there now and again)

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  • 223. At 6:47pm on 02 Oct 2010, PC_Hitman wrote:

    29. At 12:56pm on 30 Sep 2010, Inner-strengthmommy wrote:

    One last point to PC HITMAN I dont think you thought your responce through and maybe need more time to think about your reply! you just made yourself look childish and very silly

    In reading the rest of your post it would appear he doesn't suffer with ADHD only OCD etc. I applaud him for his achievements and hope your not claiming for it because it doesnt exist.

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  • 224. At 6:49pm on 02 Oct 2010, naturesson wrote:

    "-- there appears to be many with possible undiagnosed ADHD given their 'impulse' to comment on a subject they have little knowledge or understanding."

    This is a rather delicious example of the mentality of those who see everything through the medical lens. They medicalise everything that causes them the slightest displeasure, as thought their subjective displeasure was in itself an indication of pathology.

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  • 225. At 7:46pm on 02 Oct 2010, SR from EG wrote:

    210. At 01:28am on 02 Oct 2010, stopdruggingkids wrote:
    If ADHD was a real scientifically proven condition like diabetes or cancer , doctors worldwide would agree on it. However it is not and the list of so called symptoms such as "Not having any friends" are verging on medievil times,not modern science. IT is the medicalising of typical childish behaviour and is an insult to children. DRugs like ritalin can cause heart defects,weight loss,tics,liver and kidney damage,to name a few.The stimulants have caused sudden death in some chidren at USUAL prescribed doses. Please visit www.ritalindeath.com
    Why not medicalise pure greed and lying as being a mental disorder and give amphetamines to the fat cats who run drug companies. Childrens health must come before profit!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You don't belong to a certain cult that spends many hours denigrating ritalin for example.Both my sons received this drug and I've never heard of any of these side effects. TYhe possible stunting of growth and only minimal is the only authenticated side effect consistently reported. Plain example ritalin is not an amphetamine but has properties like an amphetamine so explain how such drug can actually calm down a hypheractive child surely it would send them over the top? This drug is one of the most researched drugs going back nearly 60 years, check your facts.

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  • 226. At 8:13pm on 02 Oct 2010, TruthBot wrote:

    As a trained geneticist and behaviourial scientist, I can say that most things are a bit of both nature and nurture. Take short-sight, the most common type of which is called school myopia, because too much close-up work at school brings it on. However, it also runs in families and so is also genetic. You see, DNA is not a blueprint, but rather a recipe. You needs the recipe to make the dough, but the oven and hygiene (environment) must be right to make the bread you see. So, the genes may be present, but these genes might function normally in a natural or more healthy environment, but they can lead to nasty things when the environment is not right or is poor. hundreds, if not thousands of people die in Britain each year from respiratory probs, which may be inherited, but are often brought on by the nasty ozone and stuff in the air. Of course, the government does not really care about this unless it loses too many cattle, I mean er ... good citizens.

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  • 227. At 9:34pm on 02 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 228. At 9:35pm on 02 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 229. At 10:03pm on 02 Oct 2010, Contrarian wrote:

    I thought the debate about ADHD being a real condition (?) was still on. The spinsters are now trying to firmly establish ADHD as a "disorder" that's worth treating and settle the debate. I smell another Ritalin in the making. Billion bucks, here they come!

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  • 230. At 11:01pm on 02 Oct 2010, jenny wrote:

    Andrew, thanks for your thoughtful comments and for running the support group. Don't be too disheartened, at least we are getting the subject debated, my friends who have largely been politely skeptical were only too willing to discuss this today with much more open minds and wanted to know what it was like to have ADD. The truth about this difficult condition is getting across and the science will continue to confirm and shed more light on the causes and treatment.

    The study results of a genetic link will also put pressure on the PCT's to fund adult referrals when there is an existing family member with diagnosed ADD/ADHD

    Jenny

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  • 231. At 11:29pm on 02 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    weareacc at post 222
    What a brilliant site. Thank you for leading us to ADDforums.
    from post 219
    I do not want to stereotype, patronise or generalise, I only want to learn. I still maintain that there are those using the ADHD label when they do not suffer from it.

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  • 232. At 05:16am on 03 Oct 2010, oliver stieber wrote:

    I XYZ the result of nature or nurture?

    a: Does it matter?
    b: Are women per-disposed to liking pink and men blue?
    c: To cure us is to deny us, to aid us is to accept.

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  • 233. At 05:34am on 03 Oct 2010, DtheT wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 235. At 10:09am on 03 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Stephanni Snapes at post 234
    I have just read some of your other comments on other posts. I have thrown myself into this debate wholeheartedly because I have very good reason to do so. The government are proposing to relax some of the regulations about physical touch and students. I gave my son's teacher full permission to give my son a cuddle if he was having a bad day and I said that it would help calm him down. The teacher did not believe me at first until she tried it. Some children NEED touch. We live in a threat and litigation obsessed society and simple measures sometimes work far better than the over complicated stuff. The frequent affirmation that you are ok or the other person is ok is very healing in itself.

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  • 236. At 10:39am on 03 Oct 2010, MilesTegg wrote:

    What a load of PC twaddle. Apparently all badly behaved children have ADHD, All children that have difficulyly reading have dyslexia. Appently no one can help their behaviour, free will doesnt exist, we're all victim's of our genes. Why no sysmpathy for Hitler who was obviously just a genetic mess.

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  • 237. At 10:42am on 03 Oct 2010, weareacc wrote:

    Sensiblegrannie - I was unfair to you (damn these ADHD impulses) - thanks for making the effort to see things from other's perspectives.

    More like you = progress.

    x

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  • 238. At 11:17am on 03 Oct 2010, deleted wrote:

    Bit of both I'd say - but more nurture. My beleif is that you can change any predisposition towards a certain behaviour with the right behaviour change strategy. Saying that it's just down to genetics takes responsibility away from individuals. Of course this is a generalisation and cases need to be looked at individually, but I hope you get my drift.

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  • 239. At 1:09pm on 03 Oct 2010, Len Day wrote:

    # 220. chyanne

    I feel your pain! My eldest son has Aspergers Syndrome, and my wife & I have been through all the difficulties you list.
    To the doubters, I would say that we have 3 sons, all brought up exactly the same, yet one stands out because of his Aspergers. The most dissapointing attitude of all has come from the grandparents, who simply cannot seem to understand the difference between a personality disorder and mental illness as they understand it. A common complaint from them is 'Well if he's intelligent (which he is) why doesn't he know to stop behaving like that.' It frustrates the heck out of us to hear this, because we try to explain the condition to them, but we know that it goes in one ear and out the other - they'd much rather reminisce about The Black and White Minstrell Show than talk about serious issues that affect the family. Still, we battle on, because we love our son, and because he's as precious as any person living on this planet.

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  • 241. At 6:49pm on 03 Oct 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    weareacc at 237
    I am just very relieved that we can communicate after a misunderstanding.
    x
    Impertinent question I know but I am really interested (for more reasons than you could ever guess)
    How far back in your ancestry can you trace a possible genetic link?

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  • 242. At 11:40pm on 03 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    Mr. Walsh:

    The BBC is a global news organisation, and it should look beyond UK academics and research in its reporting. The best evidence is that the prevalence of ADHD is about 5% of the population (and as much as 8% of children, some of whom appear to lose most of their symptoms as they reach adulthood. This is because diagnostic criteria are different in the UK, but the difference reflects cases which are genuine in neurological terms and simply fall below criteria which are arbitrarily higher in the UK that in North America and other places. The fact that the attitudes of researchers and medical professionals in the UK are not entirely consistent with their counterparts in other places is newsworthy and should have been reported.

    The Cardiff study is not the first hard scientific evidence of genetic heritability of ADHD. In fact, such evidence has been accumulating for several decades. I have not recently lived in the UK and do not know the prevailing scientific view there, but the view here is that the evidence is incontrovertible that many cases, and probably the vast majority of cases of ADHD are inherited, and specific genes are now being investigated. While the Cardiff study is a useful addition to the research, we do not need to identify specific genes to have established to a point of virtual scientific certainty that a disorder is heritable or that there are genetic factors. The heritability of ADHD is far greater than for any other neurological condition and approximately the same as for height. I found an excellent summary of the genetic research up to 2006 on-line in about 5 minutes, and dozens of studies are reported in the literature – the BBC’s researchers on this story could easily have found the truth had they looked beyond Wales. The debate and focus of research is no longer one of hereditary versus environmental factors, it seeks to address questions about how the genetic factors operate. Environmental research is mostly focused on how having ADHD affects one’s social childhood and adult environment and on the downstream psychological consequences.

    The comments of the Mr. Oliver James are also highly misleading. He suggests that the Cardiff study, having established one genetic link in a small percentage of ADHD cases proves that the other 80 or 90% are not genetic. In fact, current research suggests that the heritability of ADHD (ie: the probability that two persons who share genetic material will have it) is by far stronger than any other neurological problem, and about the same as traits such as height, the genetic links of which are never questioned. His views are not consistent with the vast majority of experts, who have for the last 5 years at least, largely discredited post-natal environmental factors and not heredity as major causal factors in ADHD. This is not a scenario where concern for journalistic balance should allow such a person a public soap-box. Reporting should balance the range of scientific opinion, and if you wish to reach a global audience, you should look beyond the U.K. for such a balance. Concern about journalistic mis-representation of this kind led most of the world's leading ADHD experts to publish a consensus statement about the nature of ADHD and calling for more responsible coverage (see below for cite - also freely available on-line).

    Apart from Mr. James' misrepresentation of the Cardiff Study and his apparent ignorance of all of the other research, your commentary on environmental factors is misleading in ways which are hurtful and damaging to people with the disorder and their families. There is a great deal of research that shows environmental factors may play a role in some ADHD cases, but these are pre-natal cases of environmental exposures to lead, alcohol and other toxins. The pre-natal stress mentioned by Mr. Oliver may be a similar factor, but the evidence is that post-natal stress is caused by ADHD in families and not the converse. Helping parents create better environments can help ADHD children cope and find better educations, but they do nothing - trust me - to alleviate the basic symptoms. Pre-natal factors do not relate to the environment in which a child with ADHD is raised, and they appear based on present evidence to account only for a small fraction of known ADHD cases. The characteristic symptoms of ADHD manifest at an early age and they either recede at adulthood as parts of the brain finish developing, or they persist for life. They appear in all social classes and family environments, and they are not created by bad parenting dietary peculiarities or adverse social circumstances. Studies which do correlate adverse childhood environments with ADHD are at best ambiguous, as they are equally consistent with the causation of the environmental factor by family ADHD as they are with causation of the ADHD symptoms.

    Post-natal environmental factors affect the presentation and effects of ADHD, for better or for worse, but are clearly not a causal factor. When ADHD is present, environmental factors, such as classroom or, for adults, workplace environments can be adjusted so as to ameliorate some of the effects of ADHD, but the underlying neurological reality of ADHD is not affected. The evidence is also overwhelming that, if ADHD and the frequently-related learning disabilities remain undiagnosed or are ignored by family members, teachers or co-workers, other co-morbid psychological problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety disorders, substance-abuse problems and personality problems develop. These may combine post-natal environmental factors and genetic factors but they are without question far more prevalent in persons diagnosed with ADHD than in the population at large. The ADHD comes first. Even the most intelligent child can become convinced that he or she is stupid or delinquent, and parents can become convinced that the problems faced by the child are of their making. Stimulant and other medications do alleviate the actual symptoms, but taken without environmental support, they too, are ineffective, and symptoms immediately return when medications are discontinued. To the best of my knowledge, psychotherapeutic responses have been entirely unsuccessful, and in some cases can cause harm by persuading the patient that (s)he or his or her parents are at fault. One can learn to live with the symptoms, but no amount of environmental change ever makes them disappear. All of this is consistent with an underlying neurological disorder and no other explanation, and most of it is consistent with a problem that is innate, in the sense of being a product of either pre-natal causes such as genetics or maternal/foetal exposure to harmful substances or in rare cases, post-natal brain damage caused by trauma or disease. It is utterly inconsistent with defective parenting, poor educational facilities and other folk-psychology explanations.

    Mis-reporting of these issues does not just do a disservice to the science, it causes great harm to those of us who must deal with the disorder. It was concerns about the persistent mis-reporting of the nature of ADHD by journalists as an “environmental” problem, and even as a form of a neurophysiological fraud, that led to the consensus statement of 2002.

    The real story here is that a pervasive, global neurological problem is being under-diagnosed and under-treated because it is under-reported, and because our social values lead us to blame the children and adults who have the problem and their parents. One of my grandfathers and my father had clear ADHD symptoms long before there was a diagnosis and the research to explain them. My child has now been diagnosed with the condition. I have suffered from the symptoms all my life and was only diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 56 when her symptoms were recognised.
    The same experience has been shared by thousands of other ADHD sufferers of my generation. Nothing in my childhood social environment – or that of my daughter – accounts for this. After a less-than-spectacular education and a decade as a carpenter, I returned to university and obtained two law degrees, one of them from your London School of Economics. I am now a successful Barrister and Solicitor with over 20 years at the bar, and I’m a successful parent. I have a successful and happy child, notwithstanding the same unmistakeable symptoms I can still remember from when I was her age. I have not overcome my symptoms, nor have they gone away – I just worked hard and succeeded in spite of them, and in some respects because of them.

    At the age of 7, I was beaten by my teachers for not paying attention in class. Much of my school experience reflects isolation and abuse and the persistent failure of an intelligent child to meet expectations (including his own). My past has made me who I am and I do not regret it, but I would like to think that we have made progress since then. Based on the BBC’s coverage, clearly public perceptions, media portrayals and some professional opinion still have far to go. As a reporter who specialises in science, you owe it to us and to science, to do better.

    C. D. Ram, LL.B., LL.M
    Ottawa, Canada

    References:

    International Consensus Statement on ADHD, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, June 2002

    Barkley, Russell A,. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Third Edition: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, Copyright © 2006, Guilford Publications, USA , chapt. 1, pp.32-33 and ADHD in Adults, What the Science Says (2007) (same publisher and author).

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  • 243. At 00:04am on 04 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    As a rapidly self-educating ADHD sufferer, some of the comments in this blog are heartbreaking, and a number of them are truly nauseating. ADHD is not a synonym for child-misbehaviour. Many young offenders do not have ADHD, and many people with ADHD – including myself – live full and productive lives, with or without medications. When ADHD is identified early in life and proper support (and not the sort of overt malice evidenced by many bloggers and some of Oliver James’ comments) the prognosis is good. Without such support, ADHD children are at serious risk of criminal offending, substance abuse (alcohol numbs the symptoms and cocaine actually treats them), and of having precisely the sorts of families of their own that Mr. James would like to believe cause ADHD.
    The prevalence is not 20%. Studies in a number of countries suggest that it is a global problem (ie: it appears everywhere) and that it occurs in 5-8% of children. Some types may recede (symptoms don’t disappear, but diminish to sub-clinical levels) as children grow up, which may mean adult rates are 3-5%. Personally, I suspect that more extensive research will show higher levels (as your blog shows, there are good reasons why many with the disorder would either not be aware of it or would hide it), but it will not be more than probably 8-9%.
    Stimulant drugs do work in most cases, but the best results combine drugs with other support. The drugs are not addictive in the doses and ways they are administered. To abuse drugs such as dexedrine, one has to take several times a child’s daily dose and do so nasally or intravenously. There is also evidence that such drugs actually affect ADHD brains differently. But the best evidence that they are safe is that, even though many ADHD children also have a genetic risk for addiction (family histories of drug and alcohol abuse are an indicator that ADHD may be present), we do not see children who have been taking ADHD meds for years becoming addicts.
    Research has now clearly established that factors such as diet don’t cause or aggravate ADHD.

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  • 244. At 01:03am on 04 Oct 2010, stopdruggingkids wrote:

    Modern medicine must be going backwards rather than progressing when doctors are prescribing dangerous amphetamines to young innocent kids. ADHD stimulants can cause heart defects,weight loss mood disorders,liver and kidney damage and even sudden death in children. All for a condition which dispite years of research still has no scientific biological test which confirms its presence. I cannot believe so much money is being spent on ADHD when there are real life threatening diseases like cancer deserving all the research in the world. Anyone considering putting their child on stimulants should look at www.ritalindeath.com
    I prefer lively impulsive kids to dead ones!

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  • 245. At 07:41am on 04 Oct 2010, JP62 wrote:

    I always get frustrated when reading debates over ADHD as it reflects societies tendency to apply a sweeping label to a confluence of behaviours, that are outside the 'norm' - when in fact what you have a spectrum of problems that are then approached uniformly, and usually with advocacy for a pharmaceutical treatment as a blanket approach to treatment. This is an error, in my opinon.

    For some children there may well be a genetic difference that results in altered patterns of behaviours, which may warrant treatment. I suspect for many, dietary factors such as omega 3 and other key nutrient deficiencies may play a part - there is sufficient data that shows marked improvements in concentration and reading age in 'normal' children given Omega 3 supplements along with greater attention to following a healthy diet. There is also a growing body of evidence that links depression in many (but not all) adults to Omega 3 imbalance or deficiency (not surprising when you consider that 80%ish of our neural tissue is composed of Omega 3 variants). As an offtopic side note: It is highly unfortunate that current regulation of supplements and health communications effectively prohibits supplement companies communicating this data (the burden of proof required to make such statements is now far in excess of what is required of making health statements about pharmaceutical drugs) so instead the onus of such health communication now rests entirely with journalists (another debate altogether).

    For some however, ADHD behaviours are simply representative of a different sequence of thought pattern (very possibly genetic related) and these children/ individuals are often highly intelligent and creative children who simply cannot respond to the standard teaching methods, and instead require an 'experiential' teaching style to be adopted that caters for their short attention span and needs for diversity. The list of successful businessmen and entrepeneurs who would be classified as ADHD is quite long. Do a little internet research and you would be surprised at what you find.

    However, the problem here is that the vast majority of kids need teaching styles that are modelled on current practices, but our society treats everyone uniformly.

    Therefore, we need to be careful here about our definintion of 'normal' as genetic diversity in species, including humans, is what gives populations diverse skillsets that compliment each other and contribute to the success of our species. We need our 'out of the box' creative thinkers, as much as we need our steady methodical individuals who pay great attention to detail and have an intense mental focus.

    If I were a child now I would almost certainly would be classified as ADHD; I used to frustrate my teachers enormously who felt that I was not paying attention, as I could only learn when doing something else (drawing, doodling - even reading at the same time as listening to the teacher). I also could not complete homework without the radio and the TV on at the same time, as concentration became difficult if it had to be narrowed to one task.

    As an adult, I have coping mechanisms that basically allow me to multitask (so I work at a plethora of tasks at the same time, switching from job to job) along with self imposed discipline that makes sure I methodically complete each task I have. Not everyone will be like me.

    So for what it is worth, and in my opinion, any child showing ADHD behaviours could benefit from a) playing close attention to diet and adding Omega 3 plus a multi vitamin and mineral supplement and assessing response over a period of 3 months or so. If it works stay with it, and it will do no harm.

    b) good teachers willing to adopt a variety of strategies to cater for ADHD children and make them learn the basic self disciplines that are needed to cope with life e.g. allow such kids to have doodle pad or similar. Hopefully in time, each region might have 'Creative' schools for ADHD children that allow an experiential teaching approach in thier early years, so that they can learn coping and adaptation strategies before re-integration at 13+ with the main stream.

    c) for kids who dont respond sufficiently to these approaches, then fine - go for ritalin to help them, if it does (It doesnt for all kids and this probably reflects the diversity of causality in ADHD behaviour)

    As a parent, I also know just how challenging it is to have a child who is not responding 'normally'. In these cases, consider ADHD - but consider diet first and the fact that you may just have a child that needs a different approach, or you may have one that needs a bit of additional help. Just remember that 'one size does not fit all'!

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  • 246. At 3:05pm on 04 Oct 2010, mscracker wrote:

    As a parent, I think it's wise to be skeptical about what comes out of the mainstream medical, pyschological, & child rearing "experts." We only need to look back at the accepted theories of the very recent past, such as eugenics, to see that questioning the experts can be a very healthy thing to do.

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  • 247. At 06:22am on 05 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    The comments on this blog continue to dismay, and in some cases, to disturb.

    There is as far as I know no evidence that ADHD is on the increase, but the diagnostic criteria include having both the symptoms of attention deficit, impulsivity and in one of the sub-types, hyperactivity, and having these symptoms to a sufficient degree that they cause impairment in school, work, family and other situations. This means that different experts draw the line on impairment in different places. As the blog clearly shows, UK teachers and practitioners are much more reluctant to diagnose than their counterparts in other places such as the USA and Canada (and some of the bloggers claiming to be teachers are a disgrace to the profession). There is the potential for over-diagnosis, but globally the evidence is that overall occurrence is at about 5-8% and is consistent regardless of location, culture, social status and other such factors. There is also evidence that overall ADHD is far more likely to be under-diagnosed, especially in adults, with many adults only realising they have the disorder when their children are recommended for testing by teachers and they look at lists of symptoms. Until the last decade or so, it was thought that most ADHD children grew out of it. Not so. We may have coped, but the symptoms are always there.

    As a UK-educated lawyer and criminologist I was taught (in the 1980s when the views of Oliver James held sway) that environment was everything, and that evidence of biological pre-dispositions to criminal and other behaviour patterns were nonsense. I’m as astounded as anyone that it is not so, but the evidence is clear, and unlike Mr. James, I can read the science. The Cardiff study only identified one suspect gene. There are believed to be many others, probably at least 40, which produce many variations in symptoms. The fact that the one they may have identified only accounts for a small percent of cases does not mean that all of the others are environmental. The real evidence that these traits are inherited comes from many studies over the last 20 years and is now beyond doubt.

    I have ADHD, and I’m a barrister, not a criminal. But if I was a criminal, I would still be fully responsible in fact and in law, for my actions, ADHD or no. ADHD does not remove self-control or actual or legal responsibility, but it does place children and young adults at great risk. The symptoms lead to self-blame and social exclusion in schools, and without help, sufferers are pre-disposed to impulsive behaviour. Children are also pushed to self-medicate with tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. It is a recipe for crime, and the evidence is clear that a substantial portion of the populations of our jails have ADHD. Those of you who believe that this is moral mis-behaviour that can be beaten out of children should reflect on this. If human decency and compassion does not motivate you, then act instead in your own self-interest. Diagnosing and treating children with both behavioural support and appropriate medications while they are in schools now will keep them out of your jails to-morrow. I was beaten as a child for not paying attention in school. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. I succeeded in spite of the abuse, not because of it. And speaking of criminal responsibility, in this country (Canada) some of the teachers who have posted would not only not be licensed, they would be prosecuted for assault and child abuse. I’ve lived in the UK twice and I thought of it as a civilised society – until now.

    Reading the blog, it is quite striking that those of you who are so anxious to blame parents and their children are those with no personal experience of the disorder. Nobody likes this diagnosis, and it would be a pretty rare parent who would consider it as a first option. For most, symptoms are there every waking moment and they persist for life. This is an easy way out in explaining bad behaviour? The same is true for medications. I would love to have a cure that would resolve the problem, but the evidence is that it is an problem with the neurophysiology and neurochemistry of a part of the brain that controls “executive functions”, effectively directing traffic within the brain. Drugs do not “control” children. They just stimulate this area slightly (it is why quite small doses usually work well) and it then performs its proper functions better. Drugs only rarely cause side effects (such as minor anxiety problems and insomnia) and they don’t affect thinking apart from helping you to do it a bit more clearly.

    There is NO evidence that diet has any effect of any kind on ADHD, and a lot of evidence that it has none at all. It isn’t sugars, dyes, fizzy drinks or any other food. There IS, however, evidence that some of the genes involved are also the ones that are associated with addiction. People with ADHD tend to drink a lot of coffee, with a lot of sugar in it, and they are at greater risk for alcoholism and drug abuse, but the evidence is that these are effects of ADHD, not causes of it. I had symptoms of ADHD 15 years before I had my first cup of coffee.

    Thanks to Andrew Lewis (#204) who appears to win the prize for being the first blogger to Get it Right. To the BBC producers and Fergus Walsh – there is a REAL story here and a real need for accurate public information, not for the prejudices of teachers who believe in child abuse and doddering retired practitioners who haven’t bothered to read a study in at least the past 10 years. The fact that this is really a genetic problem is a major news story, as the ignorance of many bloggers clearly shows.

    C. D. Ram, LL.B. LL.M.





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  • 248. At 3:33pm on 05 Oct 2010, SandiaMan wrote:

    My opinion is that every perosn that is diagnosed as having ADHD is entitled to have a trial period with a medication indicated for this condition. All drug therapies have some risk of adverse effects and have been advertized by pharmaceutical companies but this is not reason to deny our children access to them. One thinking of depriving one's child of the possible benefits of ADHD medication therapy should consider if they would do the same if the therapy under consideration was for a condition such as diabetes or an infection or migrane. To me it seems that not utilizing all available forms of therapy could itself qualify as "improper parenting". As a child I suffered without therapy from ADD. I was made to feel inadequate and guilty simply because I appeared to be unwilling to attend to any academic tasks for more than a few minutes at a time. Proper diagnosis and treatment has been a blessing.

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  • 249. At 07:34am on 06 Oct 2010, JP62 wrote:

    #247

    Let us clarify something here - ADHD diagnosis is carried out based on a set of behaviours. As yet, there isn't a 'true' biochemical diagnositic test for this condition, nor a genetic one. For children that really do have ADHD, diet is unlikely to assist or help - however, the reason WHY it is important to address dietary issues as a first step in treatment is that not every child exibiting some of the spectrum of ADHD behaviours will in fact have ADHD. There is also a large subset of children who do have oversensitivity to some food types, additives, or may have a poor diet (such as Omega 3 deficiencies in thier diet) that will adversely affect both concentration and behaviour, and produce very ADHD like sypmtoms.

    The reason for recommending that diet is addressed as a first port of call is not that it is a 'cure' or treatment for ADHD - rather more a method for enabling children with food sensitivities or defeciencies in their diet from being misdiagnosed as ADHD sufferers when that isnt really thier problem. If a dietary approach works, then the chances are that the child does not have ADHD and if it doesn't, the chances are that they do have ADHD and it is time to start treatment - whether it is behavioural or medical therapy.

    At worst, such an approach does no harm and is generally good for health regardless of whether the child has ADHD or not - and if you have a child with a dietary related problem that is exacerbating behavioural problems that look much like ADHD, you dont want to be medicating them for ADHD if they dont really have it.

    Apart from that, thankyou for your post - you make a lot of good points.

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  • 250. At 05:00am on 07 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    My understanding is that food and diet do have some impact on brain function, but no more or less so in those with ADHD than anyone else. The idea that dyes or too much sugar actually cause hyperactivity has been pretty thorougly de-bunked, including in one (amusing, though perhaps not to the parents) double-blind study that showed that parents assessed their own kids' behaviour as more or less hyper based on what they thought the kid was taking and not what (s)he actually was taking - parents who thought the kid had been given sugar pills reported increases in behaviour when it was in fact a placebo. Experts here recommend three square meals with lots of protein because it is slowly converted to chemicals the brain actually uses.

    The diagnosis process is pretty arduous here. At the present rate of research, they will probably have genetic tests in a few years, although if the present theories prove out, it will be like the recent results for autism - a cluster of probably 40 or more genes with mix-and-match combinations, which means less precise results. At present it is diagnosed using reports from at least 3 different sources, who have to report 17 or 18 out of 20 symptoms for a positive result. They do not see each other's questionnaire responses, and some of the questions are written so that the "right" answer for any desired result isn't obvious. Following this, there is a series of psychometric tests that try to isolate and separately test specific cognitive functions, such as the ability to take in, remember and reproduce information presented visually, graphically, verbally and in written texts. Mine took about 6 hours, and showed spectacular results in some areas and dismal ones in others. But absolutely no doubt, in my mind or the psychologist's, as to the result. But then, to be honest, I had known for years that something was there, and had no real doubt within 5 minutes of when I saw a list of symptoms. There's a reported risk of self mis-diagnosis, but several of the other people I know who have been formally diagnosed say they knew beforehand as well. Some of them were so close to my own experiences that they brought back forgotten childhood memories - not all of them pleasant.

    Regarding medications, those do affect ADHD cases differently than others. They have in some research been used as another basis for diagnosis, although special consent would be needed for ethical reasons. I will certainly try them when prescribed. My daughter has not decided yet, and we will leave the decision to her. But the research I have read does not show any significant risk or major side-effects. Minor insomnia and anxiety issues and they can make Tourette's and similar problems worse, but that is it. And they are the only thing that actually addresses the symptoms. Special education measures and workplace accommodations help you cope and function in spite of the symptoms but do not relieve them. Drugs don't work in a small fraction (5 or 10% I think) of cases. This may be because about the same fraction of ADHD cases are caused by pre-natal environmental factors (the most common in this country being fetal alcohol spectrum disorders). These have the same symptoms but may have an organic (ie: damaged or mal-formed tissues) basis and less of a neurochemical one.

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  • 251. At 06:00am on 08 Oct 2010, JP62 wrote:

    Sorry CD Ram, but I beg to differ - the issue of food allergy -especially to additives has not been thoroughly debunked, but is still open to question and further study - but I concede dietary sensitivities would still only provide an explanation (and possibly only a partial one) for a small proportion of children.

    The studies from McCann et al (2007) did show a basis for concern in some children, and the study findings were reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority.

    The formal scientific opinion can be found on a search and was entitled

    Assessment of the results of the study by McCann et al. (2007) on the effect of some colours and sodium benzoate on children’s behaviour.

    Bottom line conclusions

    "The Panel concludes that the McCann et al. study provides limited evidence that the two different mixtures of synthetic colours and sodium benzoate tested had a small and statistically significant effect on activity and attention in children selected from the general population
    excluding children medicated for ADHD, although the effects were not statistically significant for the two mixtures in both age groups.
    Since mixtures and not individual additives were tested in the study by McCann et al., it is not possible to ascribe the observed effects to any of the individual compounds.

    The clinical significance of the observed effects also remains unclear, since it is not known whether these small alterations in attention and activity would interfere with schoolwork and other intellectual functioning."

    In other words, they have found something - but more study is needed to be conclusive in any direction about which compounds or mixtures of compounds could cause problems. This is aside and apart from studies that look at general nutrients, Omega 3 fatty acids and concentration/ brain function.

    I would still argue that excluding additives from diet in affected children and ensuring a healthy balanced diet - in case it helps - is a baseline from which to start, followed by or accompanied by treatment for ADHD with behavioural therapy and ritalin when and where indicated.

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  • 252. At 05:29am on 10 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    I don't have access to the Lancet from this computer, but I will look at the article next week. I should have said that sugars and other foods had been de-bunked as a source of ADHD, not hyperactivity per se. Looking at the abstract for the study you cite, however, it looks like they just tested the effects on ordinary children "in the general population", and the abstract does not state whether the kids were controlled for other neurological issues or not.

    Clearly, ingesting any substance that has a substantial stimulant effect, such as a strong cup of coffee, will have an effect of this sort, and that might be true of whatever substances they gave the kids in the study. My understanding of the ADHD research, however, is that there is no difference between what kids (or in my case adults) who have ADHD ingest and ones who don't have it ingest that could account for the neurological symptoms of ADHD. I don't know how familiar you are with the disorder, but there are a lot of aspects other than hyperactivity.

    There was a great deal of public speculation in ths USA in the mid-70's with the so-called "Feingold Diet" which sought to treat ADHD by eliminating a range of food additives from children's diets. That in turn triggered a large number of studies in the late 70's and '80's to test whether eliminating various dietary items had any effect. I have not personally reviewed all of the work, but the research reviews have all concluded that none of the studies showed any significant link between diet and ADHD. A good quick summary of this period can be found on p.14-15 of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Third Edition: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, Russell A. Barkley (2006). I mention this because that chapter (which gives an excellent historical and clinical overview of the disorder) is available at Barkely's own site (just search the name). There is more detail in his more recent book ADHD: What the Science Says, but you'll have to buy the book (it is well worth the cost if you have a personal stake in this discussion). The two literature reviews he mentions are National Advisory Committee on Hyperkinesis and
    Food Additives. (1980). [Report]. New York: Nutrition
    Foundation, and Conners, C. K. (1980). Food additives and hyperactive children. As a quick verification, searching these title will get you a least a dozen more recent books citing these two sources. Note these are not themselves studies, but reviews that have examined dozens of studies over at least a decade.

    The problem with all of the discussion of sugars, dyes, etc., is that it contributes to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of ADHD. Parents mess about with useless diet nostrums instead of the situational and pharmaceutical responses that actually help alleviate the symptoms to the extent possible and help teach the kids early on the social, educational and learning skills they will need to get a decent education and reach adulthood with their self-esteem and mental health reasonably intact. As I said before, clearly a healthy diet is just as good for one's brain as the rest of the body, and our consultant specialists have given us the same advice as for their own kids. But not, alas, a cure.





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  • 253. At 1:17pm on 10 Oct 2010, cping500 wrote:

    The article like most academic articles these days is behind a pay wall which costs $32 to get in to read it for one day. Only academics, and subscribers can read it. In fact one of the abstracts of this article which is outside the pay wall makes it clear that a large subgroup of those who HAD been diagnosed with the ADHD syndrome who had the abnormal copy genes were high in intellectual disability.

    There is at least one other abstract which to my mind gives rise to questions about the 'universe' for this sample. What were the birth dates of the group from which the sample was drawn? (there is a pre publication version of the article with a different abstract in a different source) as well as a published one, and maybe some earlier versions which were corrected.

    Lots of articles are published in 'learned' journals. How this one get to be given so much publicity?

    How should academics attract your attention Fergus?

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  • 254. At 4:53pm on 11 Oct 2010, mscracker wrote:

    I checked out a book from the library by Carl Elliot:"White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine", which details his experiences with pharmeceutical marketing. Pretty interesting read & it touches on drugs prescribed for ADHD.















    White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine

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  • 255. At 00:57am on 12 Oct 2010, Dilip Mutum wrote:

    I was just reading C D Ram's comment and that is exactly what our child's paediatrician told us - that there is no link between diet and autism. However, as we have found out in our journey with our son and autism is that a lot professionals don't know what they don't know. Talking to any parent with autistic children would reveal that they either have diet issues or gut problems or both. You can quote any number of academic papers but the fact is that our son showed visible and almost immediate positive improvements in behaviour and symptoms a few days after we implemented a gluten free casein free diet and later the specific carbohydrate diet.

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  • 256. At 03:26am on 12 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    The problem with ADHD, with (to my admittedly limited knowledge) autism spectrum disorders and some similar problems is that symptoms come and go or make themselves more or less evident either at random or as a result of unknown variables. This is what made the fiasco with links between autism and vaccination possible. There's a difference between correlation and causation, and the only way to tell one from the other is with fairly rigorous research protocols that generate results which can be and are replicated in different study populations. It is true that there is a lot that medical specialists and experts do not know about ADHD and autism, though more is learned every day, but the only way we can ever "know" anything with any degree of scientific certainty is to do the research and follow where it leads, and not where we may have hoped it might lead. For my part, I'll stick with the science.

    That leads me to the question of access. CPing500 makes a good point that a lot of the original research is in professional publications and costs money, but there is also a great deal of reliable information on line, that summarises research and expresses the results in a format more accessible to those who don't have post-graduate degrees in psych or medicine. I haven't looked at UK sites, but based on the dialogue, I suspect that the US is ahead of others on the science anyway. Here are the sites I usually recommend.

    http://www.chaddcanada.org/ and http://www.chadd.org/ (USA)
    http://www.caddra.ca/cms4/ (Canadian ADD resource alliance)
    http://www.add.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage
    http://www.russellbarkley.org/index.htm

    Barkley's site probably has the most authoritative science sources. The first chapter of his handbook for diagnosis and treatment is on the site and gives a good summary of different theories and all of the research that had been done up to its publication in 2006. It ends with a bibliography and a huge list of articles.

    Given that most of us do not have the above-mentioned post-graduate qualifications, a lot of the confusion and misunderstanding is probably inevitable. But this does not excuse the BBC from its responsibilities here to get the facts straight before it reports on ADHD research. CPing500 may not have access to the professional literature, but the BBC does, and if its reporters don't understand the issues or the science they have access to experts who do. In this case they turned instead to a controversial crackpot who misinformed millions and will have caused actual harm. Kids with ADHD need understanding and accommodations to help them get decent educations. They don't need the BBC telling them, their parents and their teachers that it is all their fault. I repeat, Mr. Walsh, you owe us better than this.

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  • 257. At 6:57pm on 12 Oct 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I am aware that diet could be a factor with some children. The human diet should have a balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids of about 2:1. For many people in the West, the balance is nearer 20:1 (per an edition of the Radio 4 Food Programme last year). Could this be a contributing factor for some individuals?

    More research is needed and needed urgently.

    indeed more research into the ECSN... chromosomes etc are controlled by it which in turn produces a bad DNA structure. Omega 3 is the key to the ECSN development and as a few posters have pointed out it is no longer in the westeren diet especialy C linoic acid which has all but gone. You then have to move on to alcohol damage to the ECSN as several reports over the recent months have shown damage and breakdown leading to the production of bad eggs in older women, male fertility problems and behavioural problems assosiated with ADHD and FAS.

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  • 258. At 10:52am on 14 Oct 2010, AspieMum wrote:

    I have a son with Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD and my mum says he is just like I was as a child. I have been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome as an adult and whilst I have grown out of a lot of what must have been undiagnosed ADHD I still have bits of it just not enough for a diagnosis. His twin brother has some of his Hyperactivity but not full blown ADHD and Autism.

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  • 259. At 03:42am on 15 Oct 2010, C D Ram wrote:

    One of the things that bedevils both those of us who have ADHD and those who are trying to research it is that it presents differently in every individual, and also often in different situations. Children who are inattentive in classrooms where they sit day after day are often very attentive in a psychologist's office, where everything is new, and they try very hard to do their best on whatever tests are given them. Here, the assessments of teachers and others are often seen as the better evidence, especially if they conflict with what happens when the child is tested. This makes properly - regulated double-blind research protocols even more important here than in medical research in general.

    I am not sure what other research says about diet and ADHD other than that they've eliminated diet (no pun intended) as a cause of ADHD. Several members of my family have ADHD, which is certainly genetic, and most of us also have gut problems, which are either genetic or a heck of a coincidence. But we also have hair colour, features and height that we inherited. There's no connection between those and ADHD, and probably no connection with the gut issues either. Coffee helps me think because caffeine is a stimulant (like dexedrine or ritalin), but apart from that nothing I eat or refrain from eating has ever made any difference. Given the intensity of the diet research in the 80s, especially in the USA, any unusual diet factors would have been spotted pretty quickly I think.

    The comments about "growing out" of Asperger's are interesting. I don't have it and don't know it, but there is similar evidence for ADHD. But the diagnostic criteria are partly subjective and partly objective - it isn't just how your brain works, but also how much effect the disorder has on your life. There may be some cases where the brain actually re-wires itself (as it may do after a stroke or injury for example), but I think it is more likely that what they call "sub-clinical" adult cases are really cases where the person has the disorder, but has reorganised his or her life to cope with or work around the symptoms. That is how it is with me, at any rate. I have all sorts of chaos in my mind most of the time - I just think through or around it, usually onto a computer (as I'm doing now) so that I don't forget the good stuff before I write it down.

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  • 260. At 10:17pm on 19 Oct 2010, paddy wrote:

    I have tried to help my child for 30 years now. He was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia at 15 after being expelled from every school he went to.
    I have thought long and hard over the years about his problems and my conclusions so far are thus:-
    Many years ago I read a book written in the 1930s about Auditory perception difficulties (like dyslexia but with hearing rather than vision)....It is very similar to ADHD
    This seems to fit as he can only process one piece of information at a time. Otherwise he becomes very anxious. He also has planning difficulties leading to debts. He is highly emotional and suffers great anxiety.
    Yet for all this he is a very loving and kind man and misunderstood.
    I believe the expulsions have damaged his self esteem.
    My brothers child has also been diagnosed with Adhd and dyslexia.
    I do think there is some genetic involvement and I am interested why it has survived in mankind. My other child is a scientist and posseses asberger traits that are perfect for the career they are in.
    Had I known what I know now, I would have took him out of mainstream schooling and put him into a Steiner or Montessouri type school.
    The person who mentioned that the Adhd child feels excess fear, is so right I have noticed this.
    My son hates labels and so do I, but society and schools expect every child to be the same and this is wrong. I thought a label would get him help, how wrong I was !
    I welcome the latest paper and hope more will follow.
    Unfortunately he wont want to know about it !

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  • 261. At 09:56am on 22 Oct 2010, Jessica Axberg wrote:

    Hi!
    I would like to share a story about my son, Victor. He is the best "ADHD-ambassadeur" you can imagine. He is proud to have ADHD and that is because we "loaded" him with lots of positive arguments about it.

    Without diagnosis or medication, we would not have had a chance to meet Victor. Now we can give Victor the right training. I do not think it is education - it is training. Social and mental training, to train themselves to draw attention to themselves and others. What makes us human beings to be happy, sad, angry, etc.. When you realize that, life will be so much easier to live. There will no longer be large distractions and the focus and concentrate will improve tremendosly, for example in school.

    Every morning, before we say goodbye, we have an exercise that we call FaceContact (AnsiktsTid in swedish). We sit across from each other, watching each other's eyes and one by one, says the most beautiful word you can think of.
    For example: Thanks for letting me be a part of your everyday life, sharing your thoughts, your great ideas and glowing mood. Thank you for being you. etc. I love you - have a fantastic day.

    And in only one year - this has been like magic to our family. Victor have been introduced to a language that used to be rare to him. In the beginning he could almost not find any positive things to say. Now - he can grab one of his friends and say: "Pontus, you know, you are an amasing friend and I like you a lot!"

    Try to have FaceContact with your kids and your partner - every day. It makes wonders with them, and with you.

    Best regards from Sweden.
    /Jessica Axberg

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  • 262. At 9:16pm on 24 Nov 2010, FA Baughman Jr MD wrote:

    Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD comments 11/24/10 on
    (892 words):
    The genetics of ADHD
    By Fergus Walsh, UK
    Thursday, 30 September 2010
    With 8-10 million children worldwide called ADHD and on addictive, dangerous, deadly, amphetamines for it, the headline of the Lancet press release (re Williams et al) says: "Study is the first to find direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder". If the Lancet, study is the first, how have the millions called “ADHD,” who have gone before, prescribed addictive, deadly, amphetamines been diagnosed? How have they been proved to have it, or to have any of the 367 magical “diseases” in psychiatry’s magical book of “diseases”—the DSM? We don’t give insulin until blood sugars are found to be high. We don’t operate on a cancer, until a biopsy proves its presence. We don’t medicate or operate for epilepsy until seizures have been witnessed. How is it that psychiatrists get to medicate so many “disorders”/ “diseases”/ “chemical imbalances” of the brain, with never an objective proof of an abnormality, when all of their medications/ “chemical balancers” cause intoxication, injury and death—the first and only diseases/abnormalities in psychiatry. Fellow physicians, such as pediatricians, family practitioners and neurologists (of which I am one) know the ruse, and keep quiet or join in. After all there is good money in making “patients” of normals. No proof required. Lifetime patients. What does the public know?
    Back to the Lancet study: one in seven of the ADHD group and one in 14 of normals have such chromosome deletions or duplications, meaning, as always in their faux research, that it can never be said that such a finding on genetic/chromosomal testing makes the diagnosis of ADHD or that it is an actual abnormality/disease or any kind.
    And what of the fact that they said nothing of how many of their ADHD subjects had been “treated” and how many not, or of the fact that El-Zein, et al, (Cancer Letters, 2005) found such chromosome abnormalities in children exposed to Ritalin. El-Zein observed "It was pretty surprising to me that all of the children taking [Ritalin] showed an increase in chromosome abnormalities in a relatively short period of time." I should add here that there have been 3 or 4 such studies since, finding no such chromosome abnormalities. Having a background in cytogenetics it is my suspicion that the findings of El Zein were valid and that the “negative” studies that followed were “planted” distortions of the scientific record meant only to protect the record of Ritalin as “safe and effective.”
    Were these not things the authors of the Lancet paper should have made mention of in their “breakthrough” paper. Were these not things the editors of Lancet should have required before publication? I am shocked at the editors of Lancet, still sitting on my letter to the editor as well.
    Knowing all this, spokesperson Professor Anita Thapar, was quick to point out that she was not asserting that genes alone were responsible for ADHD but rather that there was, instead, a complex mix of genes and environmental factors. Proving nothing from one faux “research “ paper to the next, they revert to saying there is a mix of several causal factors—not one is an objective abnormality validating a disease, by which to diagnose a disease.
    Having proved the existence of no gene, chromosome or other physical factor about so-called ADHD, Professor Thapar went on, nonetheless, to say that ADHD could not be dismissed as being down to bad parenting or poor diet. Poor diet and malnutrition is a real, objectively diagnosable disease, poor or bad parenting is not. Having no proof ADHD is a disease, Tharpar (Williams, et al) and her fellow authors have not ruled out the probability--a diagnosis by exclusion—that ADHD is wholly psycho-social, that is parenting-environmental, something Tharpar, Williams et al and the Lancet say this research rules out.
    Professor Tim Kendall said there was a danger that giving a biological explanation (diagnosis) to ADHD would encourage clinicians to rely on a biological answer, namely drugs like Ritalin. Recall that two years ago doctors were urged by NICE (National Institute on Clinical Excellence) not to rely on Ritalin alone. Saying not to rely on Ritalin alone, NICE is saying that Ritalin and all such drugs are appropriate when they were surely aware that ADHD had never been proved a disease, i.e., when children said to have it were, in fact, normal; when prescribing such drugs to them was not “treatment” but poisoning. The Williams/Tharpar/Lancet “research” notwithstanding, such remains the status of all ADHD diagnosis and treatment today. All such practice regardless of by what type of medical practitioner is with medical or moral justification.
    This takes us back to the forties and fifties when I was in grade school and high school in the US. There was no ADHD; there was no invasion of schools and childhood by psychologists and psychiatrists. Parents and teachers were in charge and were confident in their understanding that the children were normal and that it was their job, singly and collaboratively to teach the children how to sit still, pay attention, behave, read (which they did), and learn.
    For our own good as a people, the for-profit psychological/psychiatric diagnosing and poisoning taking over our lives and the lives of our children must be banished before it cripples another generation.

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  • 263. At 9:00pm on 26 Nov 2010, FA Baughman Jr MD wrote:

    BBC November 26, 2010
    To the Editor

    Re: The genetics of ADHD, 30 September 2010:

    Without (1) stating the number of ADHD subjects who had been exposed to Ritalin/amphetamine treatment and without (2) acknowledging the 2005 report of El-Zein, et al [3] of chromosomal abnormalities, such as these, caused by Ritalin, the Williams, et al, report claiming ADHD is a disease related to chromosomal deletions and duplications proves no such thing.

    On October 26, 2010, I submitted the following letter to the Editor of the journal Lancet: In it I point out the above fundamental deficiencies. As of today, November 26, 2010, I am told my letter is still in the hands of the editors. They are obligated to publish my letter or one making the same fundamental points.

    FRED A. BAUGHMAN, JR. M.D.*
    NEUROLOGY AND CHILD NEUROLOGY
    (Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology)
    FELLOW, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY

    fredbaughmanmd@cox.net
    1303 HIDDEN MOUNTAIN DRIVE
    EL CAJON, CA 92019

    Tele:(619) 440-8236 Fax: (619) 442-1932

    Editor 10/26/10
    The Lancet

    Re: Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a genome-wide analysis. Nigel M Williams PhD a , Irina Zaharieva BSc a, Andrew Martin BSc a, Kate Langley PhD a, Kiran Mantripragada PhD a, Ragnheidur Fossdal PhD b, Hreinn Stefansson PhD b, Kari Stefansson MD b, Pall Magnusson MD c, Olafur O Gudmundsson MD c, Omar Gustafsson PhD b d, Prof Peter Holmans PhD a, Prof Michael J Owen MD a, Prof Michael O'Donovan MD a, Prof Anita Thapar MD. The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 30 September 2010 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61109-9

    To the Editor:

    Williams, et al, report a “significantly increased rate of CNVs (large, rare chromosomal deletions and duplications) in ADHD, providing genetic evidence that “ADHD is not purely a social construct.” They define ADHD as “a childhood-onset disorder, characterized by severe and impairing inattention, motor hyperactivity, and impulsiveness,” but cite no proof validating ADHD as a disorder/disease.

    Before etiology can be established there must be objective diagnosis of the disorder/disease. Without validation as a disorder/disease, the objective diagnosis of ADHD is not possible, making the establishment of etiology impossible, as well. Throughout “biological psychiatry” it is claimed, without proof, that they “diagnose,” “treat” and “research” physical disorders/diseases.

    On November 10, 2008, Supriya Sharma, Director General of Health Canada [1] wrote: “For mental/psychiatric disorders in general, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and ADHD, there are no confirmatory gross, microscopic or chemical abnormalities that have been validated for objective physical diagnosis.” On March 12, 2009, Donald Dobbs of the FDA [2] wrote: “I consulted with the FDA New Drug Review Division and they concurred with the response you enclosed from Health Canada.”

    In 2005, cytogenetic abnormalities attributed to methylphenidate/Ritalin were reported by El-Zein et al [3]. In 2009, Walitza et al [4] wrote: “Although the only two available epidemiological studies do not report elevated risk for MPH exposure… further monitoring of exposed populations is suggested.”

    Why did Williams, et al, fail to cite this literature? Why did they fail to state whether or not their ADHD subjects were treated/exposed. .

    Williams et al have failed to demonstrate that ADHD is a disorder/disease.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    1. Personal correspondence, November 10, 2008, Supriya Sharma, Director General of Health Canada to Mr. Brian Verbeek

    2. Personal correspondence, March 12, 2009, Donald Dobbs, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to Fred A. Baughman Jr.

    3. El-Zein RA, Abdel-Rahman SZ, Hay MJ, Lopez MS, Bondy ML, Morris DL, Legator MS Cancer Lett. 2005 Dec 18;230(2):284-91
    4. Walitza S, Kämpf K, Oli RG, Warnke A, Gerlach M, Stopper H. Prospective follow-up studies found no chromosomal mutagenicity of methylphenidate therapy in ADHD affected children. Toxicol Lett. 2010 Mar 1;193(1):4-8. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

    …………….

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  • 264. At 12:35pm on 31 Dec 2010, sianhutch1993 wrote:

    I have a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD . In my point of view is There has been a lot of bad press in ADHD and using a range of treatments over the years ,but medication has helped me for many years which is a relive for me and my family which my behaviour has good times and sometimes it goes the other end but thats who I am and will always be. But there is no cure for these conditions the only way is getting advice and support is from the experts e.g psychiatrist.

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