A single, specific cause of ADHD has not been found. A number of factors may contribute to ADHD, including genetic, environmental, diet, and social. Twin studies indicate that the disorder can be inherited, and genetics are a factor in about 75% of ADHD cases.
Researchers believe that a large majority of ADHD cases arise from a combination of various genes. Many of these genes affect what are called dopamine transporters. However, ADHD does not follow the usual genetic pathways and should therefore be viewed as a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. To date, no single gene has been shown to make a major contribution to ADHD.
Twin studies have also suggested that up to 20% of the variance in ADHD symptoms can be attributed to environmental factors, including alcohol and tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy and environmental exposure to lead or other heavy metals in very early life. The relation of smoking to ADHD could be due to nicotine, causing lack of oxygen to the foetus. Complications during pregnancy and birth (e.g. premature birth) might also play a role.
Could what we eat cause ADHD?
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed the literature on the association between food additives and hyperactivity and concluded that there is only limited evidence of an association between the intake of additives and activity and attention, and only in some of the children studied.
A number of studies have found that sugar has no effect on behavior, and, in particular, it does not make the symptoms of children diagnosed with ADHD any worse.
There is no compelling evidence that social factors alone can cause ADHD. Many researchers believe that the relationship with caregivers can have a profound effect on attention and self-controlling abilities. Some researchers have found behavior typical of ADHD in children who have suffered violence and emotional abuse.
We now know that a common factor in many of these conditions, includingADHD, is a part of the brain called the cerebellum, which links to nearly all the major centers of the brain associated with learning.
The cerebellum allows whichever part of the brain to which it connects to learn efficiently through practice. If the cerebellum is not working efficiently then it is very likely that sufferers will struggle with one or more of the following – poor literacy, concentration, coordination, or social skills.
Which symptoms occur will depend on which part of the cerebellum is not working efficiently. The Dore Program gets directly to the root cause of learning difficulties by stimulating the cerebellum to work more effectively and address the symptoms.
Joseph Williams is a typical 10-year-old boy. He fishes, plays in the woods, and like many his age, struggles with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But after 9 months on the Dore program, he’s more focused, doing better in school and his speech therapist reports remarkable improvement. Dore is an innovative drug-free program designed to treat people with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome and other learning disabilities. Developed in England, Dore uses daily exercises at home to stimulate the cerebellum—the brain’s skill development center.