Okay, I lied, this isn’t a real update. But this article showed up on my facebook newsfeed and I was intrigued. I’d love to get some feedback from my readers on this one if anyone has more information or opinions about the implications.

Apparently ADHD has been linked to a missing genetic sequence.

This has pretty far reaching implications given the recent surge in prescription of ADHD medication. My personal theory was that ADHD was a legitimate mental disorder whose vague parameters were being exploited by parents and individuals who wanted to add a little pharmaceutical boost to their GPA. My first instinct is to take this article as confirmation of my theory, but that would require widespread genetic testing of people diagnosed with ADHD to say with any certainty.

With a small amount of biology under my belt, a few questions jump to mind. Primarily, what do these genes code for? The article implies that they control the expression of other genes in the DNA that create proteins. Coding for proteins is pretty much DNA’s reason for existence, so what proteins are we talking about? Are the same proteins unregulated in all of the children? Are there actually larger or smaller amounts of these proteins in their bodies? Do we know the purpose of these particular proteins? (Keep in mind that proteins do everything from keeping your skin cells glued together to protecting you from disease and everything else in between.)

Will ADHD become a testable disease? Will insurance companies start to require more concrete evidence of an ADHD diagnosis before covering prescriptions made by psychiatrists? I suspect most of the psychiatrists will want to stick to their DSM criteria to diagnose the disease, but that’s the cynic in me (more subjective diagnosis means more flexibility with the diagnosis means more clients and will also keep treatment firmly in their territory.)

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