ARVD, ADHD, and Genetics 4/28/07

What you need to know

Dr. Brian L. Crissey

A little-known killer of young people, ARVD, is carried genetically like recessive blue eye genes. Some treatments for ADHD are contraindicated against ARVD. Simple methods of surveying your family line may save lives.

A recent unexpected dath of an 8-year-old boy in our family opened our eyes to ARVD, Arhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia. Its possible deadly connection to treatments for ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, needs to be widely known.

ARVD is the unseen displacement of muscular tissue in a young person's right ventricle with fatty or fibrous tissue. MRIs, EKGs and experts miss it all the time. Often the first symptom is a dead child. Its prevalence in the population is largely unknown.


Donate to a charitable foundation for ARVD research:

Peter French Memorial Foundaiton, 23 Holllywood Rd., Winchester MA 01890

Two things not to do if someone has ARVD: heart stimulants and vigorous exercise. Some treatments for ADHD are heart stimulants. They can kill.

ADHD diagnosis and pharmaceutical prescriptions for its treatment have increased five-fold in recent years. It affects 3%-5% of the population.


A blood relative that may have carried ARVD is someone who died earlier than expected of an unspecified heart failure. Very few are actually diagnosed with it.

If you can identify 11 or more blood relatives who have shown no symptoms of ARVD, your chance of being a carrier is less than 5%.

If you can identify 16 or more blood relatives who have shown no symptoms of ARVD, your chance of being a carrier is less than 1%.

If you cannot eliminate the possibility of ARVD from your family line, and if any young ones in your family are being treated for ADHD, you need to look into this immediately and have the young ones watched for ARVD. In any case, get them off ADHD treatments and out of athletics until you are sure.

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