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The 7 repeat variant of dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4–7R) causes increased inhibitory effects induced by dopamine and is associated with ADHD.
The British guideline only recommends medications as a first-line treatment in children who have severe symptoms and for medication to be considered in those with moderate symptoms who either refuse or fail to improve with counseling, though for adults medications are a first-line treatment.
People with ADHD of all ages are more likely to have problems with social skills, such as social interaction and forming and maintaining friendships. About half of children and adolescents with ADHD experience social rejection by their peers compared to 10–15% of non-ADHD children and adolescents.
People with attention deficits are prone to having difficulty processing verbal and nonverbal language which can negatively affect social interaction.
They also may drift off during conversations, and miss social cues.
The dopamine pathways and norepinephrine pathways which project to the prefrontal cortex and striatum are directly responsible for modulating executive function (cognitive control of behavior), motivation, reward perception, and motor function; Previously it was thought that the elevated number of dopamine transporters in people with ADHD was part of the pathophysiology but it appears that the elevated numbers are due to adaptation to exposure to stimulants.