(CARDIFF, Wales) -- Researchers who have identified rare genetic errors in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) say it is a brain disorder, not just a behavioral problem. As WebMD reports, study researcher Anita Thapar, MD, says people with ADHD have an unusually large number of "copy number variants" (CNVs). "These missing or duplicated chunks of DNA are in the areas of the chromosome that overlap with those implicated in autism and schizophrenia, [which are] established brain disorders," the professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Cardiff University in Wales said at a news conference. "And we found that the most significant excess of these copy number variants was in a specific region...that includes genes for brain development," she added. The study analyzed genetic data from 366 children, ages 5 to 17, with ADHD and from 1,047 matched children in the general population. Thaper and her colleagues found that children with ADHD carried twice as many large CNVs, and discovered that the difference was even more significant in those with intellectual disabilities.
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