Neurological causes | Causes of ADHD

Neurological causes

Many factors contribute to the development of ADHD, including changes in the brain. Studies have shown that the signal transmission by means of various messenger substances, e.g. dopamine, is disturbed in ADHD patients. This is due, among other things, to a disturbance of the receptors and transporters of these substances, which is hereditary.

In addition, many patients have a reduced blood flow or a reduced size of various brain regions. However, it is not yet sufficiently clear how exactly these changes trigger the symptoms. The abbreviation MCD (= minimal cerebral dysfunction) stands for all disturbances in the area of brain function which, due to various causes, occurred before, during or after birth (= pre-, peri- and postnatal).

Especially in the seventies, minimal cerebral dysfunctions as a collective term were excessively often recognized as the cause of learning problems. Minimal brain damage in early childhood can be caused prenatally, i.e. prenatally, for example by infectious diseases of the mother, by bleeding or by nutritional errors during pregnancy. This includes, in particular, regular alcohol or nicotine consumption by the expectant mother, which puts the brain stem (thalamus) at risk of not being able to fully develop.

The collective term MCD also includes all early childhood brain damage that occurs during the birth process (= perinatal). This includes in particular the lack of oxygen during birth, or various birth delays due to positional anomalies. The typical postnatal causes for the development of minimal cerebral dysfunctions typically include accidents, infectious diseases or metabolic disorders of the child in infancy and toddlers.

In addition, various studies show that prematurely born children (= premature infants) with a too low birth weight are more likely to develop attention deficit syndrome than children with normal birth weight. It is also suspected that this is related to the increased probability of minimal cerebral maturation disorders in prematurely born children. In the area of diagnosing the different variants of attention deficit syndrome, these temporal ranges are therefore also dealt with.

It is therefore advisable to provide both the maternal passport and the results of the U-examinations of the child at the time of diagnosis, as they can provide important information with regard to development and the definition of causes. It is often noticeable that ADHD problems are not restricted to one member of a family, but that – diagnosed or not – typical extreme behaviour patterns can also be seen in other family members. This fact allows two hypotheses: or These two questions cannot be answered unequivocally.

It is now known that the predispositions to develop ADHD can be inherited genetically. Furthermore, it is confirmed that environmental influences alone cannot cause the development of ADHD. BUT: It is also known that environmental influences can have a decisive influence on the development of ADHD.

This means:

  • Can ADHD have genetic causes, i.e. be inherited? – Do these typical behaviours arise from environmental influences, such as upbringing, etc.? – The upbringing itself is usually not solely responsible for the development of ADHD.

Although ADHD-like behaviour can be formed by inconsistent parenting styles, the stimulus transmission disorders are not caused by parenting. – However, inconsistent educational styles and, as a result, other unfavourable environmental influences can have a particular influence on the way ADHD develops. If there are stimulus transmission disorders of the brain, education plays a central key role in the life of an ADHD child.

For this reason, great importance is attached to consistent education and parents are involved in the therapy in a special way. The allergy has always been suspected of being the cause of ADHD. The fact that many people suffer from allergies already shows that not everyone suffers from ADHD at the same time.

It seems plausible that among the many people with allergies there are also people who suffer from ADHD. Furthermore, it is known that an allergy triggers a stress situation in the body, through which the body, or rather the adrenal cortex, triggers an adrenaline release and finally responds with an increased production of cortisol. Cortisol belongs to the group of so-called glucocorticoids.

The release of cortisol causes a drop in serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin, in turn, affects a person’s mood and attention, and it is precisely these attention and mood swings that make themselves felt in children. There are some therapeutic measures, the so-called nutritional therapeutic measures, which address allergy as the cause of ADHD.