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Children who lose bladder control, especially during the day, are four times more likely as other kids to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder according to a new German study. “I think a lot of us have known this for a long time,” said Dr. Peter Jensen, a professor of psychiatry and psychology and the vice chair for research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Anecdotally many doctors have realized that children with ADHD also struggle with wetting themselves. This is the first study though to link the two disorders.
ADHD is a common and growing behavioral disorder that includes hyperactivity, an inability to focus, impulsivity and lack of attention. It is diagnosed for ten percent of all children in the US and the numbers grow year after year.
The study states that two to three percent of children have daytime wetting accidents. Researcher Dr. Alexander von Gontard from Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Germany reviewed the medical files and surveyed the parents of 1300 children who were five to seven years old. They found that 49 of the children wet themselves during the day and of those 37 percent had ADHD or ADHD symptoms. Of the 1194 children who did not experience incontinence, only 40 had ADHD symptoms – a fraction of a percent.
Once the researchers factored out all the contributing circumstances like developmental disability, they determined that the chances were four times greater than among their peers that they would have ADHD. They also determined that these disorders were not related in a causal way.
It could be that ADHD kids who have a hard time multi-tasking are not able to get to the bathroom in time as they are distracted by other activities. Or, if ADHD typically occurs in children with delayed brain maturation, then the incontinence could just be another example of developmental delay.
Source: Reuters, Journal of Urology
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