- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Dr. Walt Larimore
- Your Child Needs a Well-Child Checkup
- You Are the Key to Your Teen’s Well-Being
- Why Energy Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Bottled Water is Bad for Your Teeth
- Why Baby Media Does Not Advance Learning
- Whooping Cough Epidemic
- What Is the Genetic Link With ADHD?
- What Is My ADHD Child Feeling?
- What about Adopted Children?
- Weight Loss That Works…and Keeps Working
- The Ten Commitments of Great Parents
- The Teen Years--Ready, Set, Go
- The Parental Team--It Takes Two
- The One Thing Your Kids Need to Avoid for A Good Night’s Sleep
- The Different Layers of Health Care
- The Death-Defying Power of Healthy Marriage
- The Crucial Importance of R.E.S.T.
- The Attributes of Great Parents
- The ADHD Child
- The ABCD's of Parenting Teens
- The 12 Ways of Hands-On Parents
- Television and Childhood Obesity
- Superfoods for Women
- Summer – Fun, Food, Fellowship, and Fat?
- Study shows no link between increased cell phone use and brain cancer incidence
- Small Changes Bring Big Results
- Showing Gratitude for Partner's Generosity
- Quality Time or Quantity Time?
- Postpartum Depression
- Poll Shows Sex within Marriage is More Fulfilling
- Obesity: Television, Video Games and Your Children’s Health
- Obesity: Soft Drinks Effect Health
- Obesity: It’s a Killer Epidemic
- Obesity: Children and Fast Food
- Loud Music and Teenage Hearing Loss
- Learn as much about ADHD as you can
- Is Chocolate the Next Super Food?
- Is ADHD Different in Boys and Girls?
- Is ADHD Associated With Risk-Taking Behaviors?
- How to Change These Four Bad Habits
- How to be Happier and More Satisfied
- How Common Is ADHD?
- Hepatitis C and Tattoos
- Healthy Holidays
- Hands-on Parenting: How it Works
- Good Relationship with Dad Can Help Fight Stress
- Fast food and your family
- Explore Treatment Options
- Dr. Larimore’s 11 Tips for Weight Loss Success
- Disciplining Older Kids
Dr. Walt LarimoreWalt Larimore, M.D. has been called “one of America’s best known family physicians.” He is a nationally-known and nationally sought after speaker and health expert. read bio
What Is the Genetic Link With ADHD?
There is increasing evidence from medical studies that genetic factors play a role in ADHD. Jacquelyn Gillis and her team, then at the University of Colorado, reported in 1992 that the risk of ADHD in a child whose identical twin has the disorder is between 11 and 18 times greater than that of a non-twin sibling of a child with ADHD. She showed that between 55 and 92 percent of the identical twins of children with ADHD eventually develop the condition.
A large study of twins in Norway, involving 526 identical twins (who inherit exactly the same genes) and 389 fraternal twins (who are no more alike genetically than siblings born years apart) found that ADHD had nearly an 80 percent chance of being inherited. They concluded that up to 80 percent of the differences in attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity between people with ADHD and those without the disorder can be explained by genetic factors.
In addition, scientists are telling us that there are genetic mechanisms that regulate hyperactivity, especially as they relate to dopamine. For example, a significant percentage of people with ADHD have been found to have an abnormality of the dopamine D4 receptor gene, which is associated with abnormal risk-taking behavior and hyperactivity.
What does this mean for your family? Simply that one or both of the parents of your ADHD child are likely to have ADHD. If so, dealing with your child may remind you of some painful memories from your childhood or teenage years. This can make it even more difficult and emotional to deal with your child.
Furthermore, the unaffected siblings may be more likely to have children of their own with ADHD. These are just a few of the reasons that many ADHD therapists will recommend that parents and siblings also be tested for ADHD and consider education and counseling for the entire family.
Used with permission from the book, Why ADHD Doesn’t Mean Disaster by Dennis Swanberg, Diane Passno and Walter L. Larimore, M.D. A Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers.
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