Things you didn't know were a sign of a serious attention disorder (@taramaryalice)
Until a few decades ago, children who faced ADHD did not undergo a diagnosis to identify the disorder and in many cases were labeled as "problematic", "chatty" or "flying", without the system offering them real solutions to improve the situation.
Today, when awareness of the disorder is much higher, many adults are also diagnosed with it and understand better the difficulties that have affected them throughout their lives.
According to estimates, about two-thirds of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to suffer from the disorder even in adulthood.
In other cases, adults who have never been diagnosed, discover it at a late age and, if necessary, also receive tools that will help improve their lives.
Now, scientists are trying to understand whether there are differences between adults and children who struggle with ADHD, and new research suggests that the explanation for this difference may lie in DNA.
In a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers from Denmark sought to examine the genetic difference between children and adults diagnosed with ADHD.
Their conclusions point to surprising differences between these two groups, which shed new light on the well-known phenomenon.
ADHD in adulthood (Photo: ShutterStock)
The study was based on data from the past that showed that about 74 percent of the causes of attention and concentration disorders stem from a genetic origin.
This factor, we emphasize, is polygenetic, meaning that it is not affected by one specific gene, but by a group of different genes, the combination of which leads to the development of the disorder.
In the study in question, the experts analyzed the genetic profile of children and adults with ADHD and compared it to the genetic profile of a variety of other people, some of whom are dealing with other common disorders.
"Quiet" children are not diagnosed - but suffer more in adulthood
The study's conclusions showed, among other things, that many children diagnosed with ADHD share a genetic load similar to those who deal with autism, while many adults who suffer from the phenomenon are similar in their DNA composition to those who deal with clinical depression.
This conclusion, it is important to understand, does not mean that children with ADHD are on the autistic continuum and it also does not mean that adults who suffer from the disorder necessarily also face depression.
However, the researchers emphasize that in adulthood, ADHD can also be associated with the risk of developing depression at some point in life.
In addition, the study found that the genetic composition of adults with ADHD differs in many cases from that of children diagnosed with hyperactivity.
This is while children who are diagnosed with the disorder in many cases also suffer from hyperactivity.
In the past, it was common to refer to such a disorder as ADD, but today it is defined as ADHD without hyperactivity.
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"In other words, people who deal with ADHD as adults tend to be less hyperactive and restless," explains Prof. Dita Demontis, a researcher from the University of Ursus, who led the study.
"This understanding may help us explain why the diagnosis of the disorder occurs in many cases later in life in this specific group."
These data, the researchers hope, will help to better understand this deceptive disorder and also to notice in which cases a more in-depth diagnosis is required to detect other mental challenges that can hide under the surface.
In this way, they hope, it will be possible to identify ahead of time children on the autistic spectrum who need special attention even if they do not show "classic" symptoms and also to treat, if necessary, clinical depression in adults with ADHD who may not themselves seek professional treatment.
The latest findings join a series of efforts that are currently being made to understand the challenges that many people around the world face, to remove the veil of shame that surrounds them and to allow them to understand that even if their genetic baggage makes life more complex - it is certainly possible to change the situation with the help of a correct diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment package .