It’s very likely to inherit ADHD because it runs in families.
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ADHD Awareness Month 2022
Understanding a Shared Experience
I mention, for example, how you get it – that it’s highly heritable. Out of every four people diagnosed with ADHD, one of them has got a mom or dad who’s got it, whether they know it or not. And the other three – if they don’t have a parent who has it, usually they’ve got a grandparent or an uncle or aunt or cousin or brother or sister. It runs in families.
You know, there’s a heritability index that we use in science which runs from zero to one as a way of saying how much do genes have to do with whatever it is we’re looking at. And on that scale that goes zero to one, breast cancer is about 0.3, asthma is about point five, height is 0.9, and ADHD is 0.76 – so it’s highly heritable.
And often people who don’t know much about ADHD have a hard time. They’ll say, “Oh no, I don’t think anybody in my family’s ever had it.” But once they get a description of it, “Oh, yeah, my one grandmother and then I had another aunt and one uncle who had similar problems.” So the part of the task of evaluation is education to help people understand what is this disorder that we call ADD or ADHD and how do you get it.
About the speaker
Thomas E. Brown earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Yale University and served on the Yale faculty for 25 years. He is now Director of the Brown Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders in Manhattan Beach, CA, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of California Riverside School of Medicine. He is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and has published numerous articles and seven books on ADHD. His website is www.BrownADHDclinic.com