The stigma gene

October 8th, 2010 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, genetic nonsense, medicalisation, neuro nonsense | 27 Comments »

Ben Goldacre, The Guardian, Saturday 9 October 2010

What does it mean to say that a psychological or behavioural condition has a biological cause? Over the past week more battles have been raging over ADHD, after a paper published by a group of Cardiff researchers found evidence that there is a genetic association with the condition. Their study looked for chromosomal deletions and duplications known as “copy number variants” (CNV) and found that these were present in 16% of the children with ADHD.

What many reports did not tell you – including the Guardian – is that this same pattern of CNV was also found in 8% of the children without ADHD. So that’s not a massive difference.

But more interesting were the moral and cultural interpretations heaped onto this finding, Read the rest of this entry »