Causes of ADHD (cont.)

What role do environmental toxins play in ADHD?

The presence of certain toxins in the environment, such as lead, PCBs, or pesticides, may also have a role in causing ADHD. Researchers believe that some toxins may interfere with the brain development of children. That, they say, could possibly lead to ADHD.

Can watching too much TV cause ADHD?

Past studies indicate that too much TV may be associated with ADHD. But some newer studies show that time spent watching TV may not affect young kids' risk of developing ADHD.

In one study, experts reviewed data from a national survey of parents, teachers, kindergarteners, and first-grade students. They concluded that kindergartener's TV time was not linked to the chance of having attention problems in first grade.

Are there prenatal risks associated with developing ADHD?

Studies show pregnant women who smoke or drink alcohol may have an increased risk of having a child with ADHD. Some studies also show that women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have ADHD themselves. Other studies conclude that alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy can reduce activity of the neurons that produce neurotransmitters.

In addition, ADHD is higher in children who had a low birth weight or whose mothers had difficult pregnancies.

WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CHADD: "What Causes ADHD?"

The ADHD Genetic Research Study at the National Institutes of Health and the National Health Genome Research Institute: "General Information about ADHD."

Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD on July 07, 2012

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Last Editorial Review: 7/7/2012