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The genetics of ADHD have been explored via three types of studies—family/adoption studies, twin studies, and, more recently, molecular genetic studies. Family studies have consistently shown that if a child has ADHD, 10%–35% of first-degree relatives are likely to have the disorder as well (Biederman et al. 1992). If a parent has ADHD, the risk to the child of developing ADHD is as high as 57% (Biederman et al. 1995a). Sprich et al. (2000) examined the rates of ADHD in the relatives of both adopted (i.e., nonbiological) and nonadopted children with ADHD. The rate of ADHD in biological relatives of children with ADHD was 18% compared to only 6% in the adopted relatives, suggesting a strong genetic effect.

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Table Reference Number
TABLE 15–2. Genes suspected to be related to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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