New Research Identified Birth Information Factors That Might Help Predict ADHD Symptoms During Childhood

Monkey Business - - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

According to a new study conducted by researchers at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, pregnancy and birth information may help medical professionals predict the extent of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in childhood.

This finding was based on an examination of data from nearly 10,000 children born in the U.S.

The data was drawn from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study– an ongoing research effort of United States children who were born between 2005 and 2009.

The kids were first enrolled in the study between the ages of 9 and 10. At that point, their parents were asked about various aspects of their pregnancy, birth, and as well as the current mental health of their child.

This allowed the research team to identify 40 information points that are usually known by birth– such as the age of the parents, the gender of the baby, any pregnancy or delivery complications, and the child’s exposure to certain factors in the womb, like cigarette smoke.

Then, through the use of machine learning, the team found that 17 out of the 40 factors were actually quite reliable for predicting ADHD symptoms during childhood.

According to Dr. Niamh Dooley, the study’s co-leader, not many studies have analyzed how prenatal and birth data might be helpful for predicting ADHD.

“We know that certain events during our time in the womb can have long-lasting consequences for our health. But not many studies have tried to quantify just how useful prenatal information could be in predicting childhood ADHD symptoms,” Dr. Dooley explained.

So, the researchers opted to focus on pregnancy and birth information that was readily available– the same type of data that would be in prenatal records.

Monkey Business – – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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