States with Less Sunlight Had Higher Rates of Patients Diagnosed with ADHD

Child psychiatrist Eugene Arnold, MD, conducted a study that showed states with less sunlight had higher rates of patients diagnosed with ADHD.

“It’s estimated that 13 million men, women and children in the United States fit the diagnosis for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD or ADD. A neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inappropriate degrees of inattentiveness, impulsivity and/or hyperactivity, ADHD is the most common mental health issue in children, with 5 to 8 percent of them affected.

“For decades, doctors have tried to understand the disorder. Studies suggest 50 to 80 percent of cases are traced to inheritable traits, but the inheritable trait may be a vulnerability to something in the environment. Now, my colleagues and I are beginning to explore environmental factors that may a role in whether or not a child develops ADHD.”

Dr. Eugene Arnold, MD, is a child psychiatrist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Nisonger Center with more than 40 years of experience in child psychiatric research, including the multisite NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD. He contributed this article to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights, July 09, 2013.


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