Are ADHD and Autism related? Scientists find more similarities

CC BY-NC by ADHD CENTER

Children with ADHD were more likely to exhibit stronger traits which include socialisation and interpersonal skills with their peers, understanding and thought process, facial recognition and behavioural difficulties.

The research conducted by Joseph Bierdman MD of director the Pediatric psychopharmacology unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital,  was published in the September issue Pediatrics journal.

The study asked parents and teachers of almost 300 ADHD children and 100 non-ADHD diagnosed children questions about their behaviour and thought. It was found that almost twenty percent of children with and ADHD diagnosis also had cognition and psychological learning markers that were typical of children with Autism.

Previous studies in the field show children with ADHD have strong genetic similarities to Autistic children, especially in the way the neuropathways in a certain part of the brain is concerned. This part of the brain is usually responsible for identifying facial expressions and developing empathy.

Those with both ADHD and autistic traits were also more likely to have other psychiatric conditions, such as disruptive behaviors, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and language disorders, which suggests there may be an underlying genetic reason behind the link.

Their studies, which looked at mainly caucasian children is thought to warrant a more indepth look into if this is a cross ethnicity problem.

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