What causes ADHD?

ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is a neurobiological developmental disorder


No-one knows for certain what causes ADHD, and it is possible that a number of factors, both genetic and environmental, may contribute to its development.

ADHD comes with a number of positive as well as negative attributes. It is only when the negative attributes are very disruptive for the individual that they negatively impact everyday living.

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Genetic studies, including family, twin and adoption studies, show ADHD is a highly heritable disorder. No single ADHD gene appears responsible for causing ADHD. Instead, research suggests it is likely to result from number of interacting genes. Expression of these genes is thought to result in alterations in brain structure, neurochemical composition and availability, and brain connectivity and function.

It is estimated that ADHD effects around 5% of the Australian population, that is about one in 20 people or about 1 million Australians.


ADHD is one of the most researched neurobiological developmental disorders in the world and while it may come with some controversies in regards to the various treatments available, it is with continued research we will understand more.

We would encourage you to get the 'ADHD Facts' and take a closer look within our 'Research' section of our website.

There are various research projects being undertaken within Australia and we would encourage those who are able to participate in these research studies. More about these research studies can be looked up in our 'Research Participation News' section of the website.