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Sep 30, 2010 8:31 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Kids with ADHD more likely to have missing DNA

Researchers say a new study provides the first evidence that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is genetic. The study says ADHD kids are twice as likely to have missing or extra chromosomes than other children.

British researchers focused on a sequence of genes linked to brain development that has previously been connected to conditions like autism and schizophrenia. In children without ADHD, about 7 percent of them had deleted or doubled chromosomes in the analyzed gene sequence. But among children with the disorder, researchers discovered about 14 percent had such genetic alterations.

Scientists also found that 36 percent of children with learning disabilities in the study had chromosomal abnormalities. A study author says it's too early to affect diagnosis or treatment.

The study is in the medical journal Lancet.

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