ADHD Inattentive and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) &Tourette's disorder

ADHD Inattentive may be linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Recently on the Primarily Inattentive ADD forum someone asked whether ADHD was linked with OCD and at the time of the question, a few weeks ago, there was no available answer.

A new study just published and sited below reports that the authors found an unexpected genetic or familial link between Tourette's Disorder (TD), OCD and ADHD.  This is what they report,The finding of an association between TD, ADHD and OCD/OCDsub diagnosis was unexpected. The current results suggest that TD, ADHD, and OCD symptoms have overlapping neurobiology when occurring in families of TD and/or ADHD."

So we can now add OCD to the long list of disorders that can be associated with and confused with ADHD Inattentive and the other types of ADHD.  It was not like there was not enough disorder already!  The forum question related to people with ADHD Inattentive becoming obsessively involved in some daydream or other endeavor to the detriment of whatever else they were supposed to be doing.

Hyper-focus, the tendency to become overly focused on something is a trait that we see in Inattentive ADHD as well as in the other types of ADHD.  This trait can be the seed of greatness but it can also be just a huge waste of time.   I do not know if the trait of hyper-focus could be classified as an OCD trait but I do know that some psychiatrist feel that people who are Oppositional suffer from a type of OCD.

Researchers found unexpected ADHD/OCD link.
People with the Combined type of ADHD are much more likely to suffer from Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).  It is not as common in people with Inattentive ADHD but it does occasionally occur in this subtype.  I have a young son with Combined type ADHD and ODD.  His psychiatrist reports that he compulsively responds with "up" when someone says down and he compulsively responds with "no" when someone says "yes".

Living with my oppositional son and knowing that this contrariness is an OCD trait makes the oppositional behavior easier to tolerate and to predict.  Many ADHD experts have long believed that OCD is unrelated to ADHD.  This new study will, no doubt, send them back to their books and this can only be a good thing!!

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2011 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

The familial association of tourette's disorder and ADHD: The impact of OCD symptoms.


Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Biomedical Engineering Department, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts; Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following up, I was curious myself! With ADD and OCD sharing such similar characteristics, it's no surprise that the disorders can overlap. Looking forward to more research on this!


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