Soon every tenth boy has got ADHD

Erik Strand 14.11.2011

The headline is translated from an editorial in a Swedish online Newspaper. The editorial quote new numbers from Socialstyrelsen (Social Services) which show a rapid increase in the use of medication against ADHD. This increase is especially large on Gotland, an island and county in the Baltic Sea.

The county parliament, Landstinget, sums up the causes of ADHD: “Scientists agree that ADHD is caused by damages in the brain which the children are born with. One can inherit it from one’s family. But one can also get the damages during the pregnancy or birth.”

Behind the medication one finds the doctor Henrik Peling, who claims that ADHD is a disease caused by errors in the brain’s domamine system. In the editorial, Lars Lundström asks a very relevant question: If that is true, why do som many boys on Gotland have a brain damage? More than 7 % of the boys aged between 5 and 19 years (about 350) receive medication which has the same effect as cocaine.

One can extend the queston: are there more children with a brain damage in countries like Sweden, Norway and the US, with a higher rate of medication than many other countries? And were there less people with brain damages a decade or two ago?

For more background on ADHD medication, go to