Decoding ADHD – what it is, how to find it and how to treat it

It is easy for anyone to become distracted, fidgety or unorganised – we all make mistakes – but when behaviours such as these start affecting everyday life, there may be a greater and more serious reason.

ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a disorder that is still not completely understood. Part of the reason why this disorder is so complex is that many of the symptoms can easily be overlooked as ‘situation specific’. However, people affected by this disorder can develop emotional, social, occupational and academic problems and should be given the opportunity to understand how to best treat their condition.

In late 2010 The Lancet published a report showcasing research supporting DNA testing in disorders such as ADHD. The report noted that there are significantly higher rates of duplicated or missing DNA segments in children, and adults, with ADHD. Dr Danny Meyersfeld, CEO of DNAlysis Biotechnology said, “The stigma that ADHD is due to ‘bad parenting’ is in the process of being lifted, with new research supporting the link between ADHD and an individual’s DNA.” Further research shows that there is a link between these DNA differences and other disorders such as Autism and Schizophrenia. The good news is that ADHD can be treated effectively and DNA testing can help to understand how to best treat the disorder. However, in order to treat it, ADHD first has to be recognised and diagnosed, a feat within itself.

ADHD is most commonly associated with concentration issues. However, symptoms differ according to age and stage and present differently in children and adults. ADHD in children may be more visible during school hours when teachers notice that the child finds it difficult to focus and gets distracted easily. This can progress to the child not being able to finish their task completely before moving onto the next one. Since ADHD symptoms can be so common in children, teachers may often mistake general focus issues for ADHD. In cases like these, it is important to seek medical counsel so that the child can be correctly diagnosed and treated.

In adults, these traits can extend to the inability to be on time, poor organisational skills and difficulty controlling their behaviour. Often a parent may recognise their own ADHD through watching their child; even adults should seek medical advice in order to further understand the disorder and how to treat correctly.

“DNA testing cannot diagnose an ADHD disorder, however, the test can help your doctor prescribe medication that is best suited to your specific genes,” Dr Danny Meyersfeld said. “Our technology allows you to further understand your genes and how your body is going to metabolise certain medications.” Treating mental disorders can often become an expensive trial and error exercise but DNA testing takes the mystery out of the process and leaves you and your doctor with concrete information that is only relevant to you. This allows you to find a treatment plan that is effective for both your child’s well-being and your pocket.

To begin your journey to personalised medication visit our website and order your test today.