In the realm of ADHD research, OHSU professor Joel Nigg, Ph.D. is a major player. He recently wrote an editorial outlining the latest scientific way of seeing ADHD (and more), delving into epigenetics, which, to keep things simple, combines genetic potential and environmental triggers.
He starts with three major confusions about ADHD that has hurt research on it. Because the negative effects of these confusions go beyond research, I’m sharing them here. For the start of the academic, detailed version, go here.
Confusion #1: It’s easy to fix.
Reality: Long-term follow-up studies show that even the best “fixes” for ADHD barely change its long-term life outcomes.
Confusion #2: It’s no big deal, anyway.
Reality: Childhood ADHD has a strong association with future antisocial behavior, school and work failure, incarceration, and more, including serious injuries, shortening life spans.
Confusion #3: It’s just inherited or it’s just a result of the environment.
Reality: Its development appears to be a combination of uncommon gene mutations AND genetic factors common across psychiatric disorders, WITH the expression of these mutations and factors dependent on experience/environment (including exposure to toxins/pollutants/contaminants).