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ADHD Genetic Link: Is Attention Deficit All in the Genes?

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(CBS) What causes attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD?

A new study points the finger not at bad parenting or too much sugar in the diet but at heredity.

Scientists at Cardiff University in Wales compared the DNA of 366 children with ADHD to that of 1,047 kids without the condition. They found that kids with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of DNA that were duplicates or missing.

"We hope that these findings will help overcome the stigma associated with ADHD," Professor Anita Thapar, the study's lead author, said in a written statement. "Too often, people dismiss ADHD as being down to bad parenting or poor diet. As a clinician, it was clear to me that this was unlikely to be the case. Now we can say with confidence that ADHD is a genetic disease and that the brains of children with this condition develop differently to those of other children."

The study was published online in The Lancet, the English medical journal.

Worldwide, about one in 50 children have ADHD. The condition - which makes kids restless, impulsive, and easily distracted - is incurable but can often be controlled with medication and therapy.

Learn more in this report from CBS News' Dr. Jon LaPook:

ADHD Link Uncovered