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​​What Causes ADHD in Children?

The reasons behind ADHD are still not fully understood.

The reasons why someone has ADHD are still not fully understood. Some researchers say that there may be anatomical reasons for children with ADHD. They may have a 3% decrease in the volume of the brain, particularly in the temporal and frontal lobe of the brain, which is the area responsible for attention and impulse control.[1] 

Other factors may include abnormalities in the chemicals in the brain (particularly the dopamine system), genetic factors, social factors in terms of the child’s upbringing and living environment, maternal drug use, premature birth, and exposure to certain chemicals. 

Contrary to popular belief, there is no definitive evidence that excessive sugar intake is associated with ADHD. However, there is some evidence that a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables may provide a protective effect.[2]

If you’re worried that your child shows symptoms of ADHD, click here for a quick assessment! 

[1] Castellanos, F. X., Lee, P. P., Sharp, W., Jeffries, N. O., Greenstein, D. K., Clasen, L. S., ... & Rapoport, J. L. (2002). Developmental trajectories of brain volume abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Jama288(14), 1740-1748.

[2] Del-Ponte, B., Quinte, G. C., Cruz, S., Grellert, M., & Santos, I. S. (2019). Dietary patterns and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of affective disorders252, 160-173.

Information provided by:

Dr Keith Hariman headshot

Dr Keith Hariman

Specialist in Psychiatry, OT&P Healthcare

If you’re worried that your child shows symptoms of ADHD, click here for a quick assessment!

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

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