The genetic component is amazing. Because so many in my family have it, I am more amazed by the people who have no seemingly family history. The researchers do think that there are probably several genes at work, but it makes it harder to diagnose and find ways to help it the more ways there are to get it.
There was a new research study that came out earlier this week that was also interesting. I'm posting the link and the content (I hope no one objects, I know that I don't have their approval - but at least you know where I got it). I posted this earlier in the week on the Yahoo board.
http://www.websciences.org/cftemplate/N ... D=20048086
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To describe parent-reported and actigraphically
assessed sleep patterns and sleep disorders in stimulant-medication-
free children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
divided according to ADHD subtype. PARTICIPANTS: Seventy-one
stimulant-medication-free children with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD
(8 girls; mean 8.8 years (SD 2.6), range 3-15 years) recruited from
child psychiatry clinics. MEASUREMENTS: ADHD: ADHD Rating Scale DSM
IV- Home Version to subdivide children into those with predominantly
attention deficit, mainly hyperactivity, and those with both aspects
equally. Sleep: Parent-completed sleep diary, clinical history, and 5
nights of actigraphy. RESULTS: Parents reported a wide range of
frequently occurring sleep disturbances in their children. However,
the objective sleep patterns were not abnormal and did not differ
between the ADHD subtypes, and objective sleep patterns did not
predict ADHD severity. There was poor correspondence between parent
report and actigraphy. Careful clinical consideration of each case
suggested that sleep disorders may be widespread in this group of
children; only 8 of the 71 children had no discernable likely sleep
disorder. Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, sleeplessness and
reports of restless legs featured prominently. CONCLUSIONS: Parents
of children with ADHD may not be accurate reporters of their
children's sleep pattern and/or the sleep disturbances that come to
parents' attention are not best detected by actigraphy. Results
highlight the prominence of parent-reported sleep disturbance in
children with ADHD and the need for clinicians to routinely screen
for the presence of sleep disorders and assess detailed sleep
physiology where indicated.
WOW - only 8 of the 71 children did not have any discernable likely
sleep disorder!!! Too bad they didn't have any controls. But, this seems huge to me. I know 71 isn't a perfect sample size, but
it's a lot larger than some studies. Of course, all of these kids were targeted because of ADHS issues, but this highlight an important point - do they? This sort of mirrors some of the other research that shows ADHD and RLS are related. The current theory is that dopamine is mis-regulated in RLS patients, so this may also apply to these kids, as I think dopamine is also at issue. But I'm not well-read about ADHD so I'm sure someone else can correct me.
Sounds like regular screening could be very important for this
population. I have a lot of concerns about children taking medication, especially when we have no long term understanding of
what medication does. On the other hand, seems like a lot of this
population is really suffering. At least if they are diagnosed, parents have a reason for some of the behavior issues, and can look into trying to find ways to get them to sleep better.