Since ADHD and its symptoms are properly researched now, scientists and doctors have better insight into what causes this condition. Let’s find out what are known causes of attention deficit disorder.


In 80% of cases, ADHD is inherited. It was defined after researching twins and adopted children and environment and genes playing their roles. Specialists say that insight into family history can appear revealing: you can identify family members who had symptoms of ADHD, although it was never diagnosed in them. For instance, if people changed jobs often, has problems with completing projects and organizing their life normally, it can signify about the condition.

Lead Exposure

If a woman was exposed even to a low level of lead during pregnancy, it can cause hyperactivity and inattention in the future child. Surprisingly, lead can be present in gasoline, or paint used for homed built before 1978.


Pregnant women who smoke increase the risk of having a child with ADHD. The more cigarettes are smoked, the higher is the risk of ADHD.

Alcohol Abuse

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy are twice as likely to have a kid with ADHD compared to those who don’t. Women who were dependent on alcohol triple the risk of having a child with ADHD.

Premature Birth

Prematurely born kids and children with low weight have a higher chance of developing ADHD.

Obstetrical Complications

Some certain problems during pregnancy like hard and long labor, or eclampsia can cause ADHD in the kid.


Meningitis or encephalitis can damage some areas of the brain causing problems in attention and learning.

Head Traumas and Brain Injury

In rare cases, ADHD symptoms may appear because of brain damage, for instance, early brain injury, different traumas and other impediments to brain development.

Things that do not cause ADHD

Although there’s lack of research of things that do not cause ADHD, some facts are known for sure. The following does not trigger development of ADHD:

  • Specific diets and consuming a lot of sugar.
  • Hormonal disorders.
  • Bad parenting.
  • Watching TV.
  • Playing video games.

Besides, there are many other myths about ADHD that should be debugged. For example, ADHD is not a sex-linked disease: it occurs not in males only, though it’s passed down from father to kids. However, thinking that if a father doesn’t have ADHD, children won’t have it, is a mistake.

Another misbelief is that there are specific genes responsible for ADHD. Scientists suggest that it’s rather interaction of several genes causing ADHD than one particular gene.

If one child in family suffers from ADHD, there’s a 60% chance that the other children from this family will have it.

Although ADHD is rather a genetically conditioned disease, there are ways to prevent and treat it. Careful and attentive doctors together with individual educational programs help children and adults with ADHD to improve life quality and reach success.