ADHD and T-Rex Arms: Is There a Connection?

In this blog post, we will discuss the myth about T-Rex arms and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We will explain what T-Rex arms are, what ADHD is and how it is manifested, and then we will discuss whether there is enough, or in fact any, scientific evidence to say that T-Rex arms are common in ADHD patients.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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ADHD and T-Rex Arms: Is There a Connection?

There is not specific scientific evidence suggesting that there would be a correlation between ADHD and having T-Rex arms, whether in the form of bending your arms like a T-Rex or having arms disproportionately shorter than your body. However, ADHD may cause other motor problems.

Another common myth is to associate T-Rex arms with autism.

What Are T-Rex Arms In Humans?

The term "T-Rex arms" is not considered a medical term; rather, it is a colloquial expression used to describe a condition in which one’s arms are perceived to be disproportionately small in relation to one’s body. It can also refer to a specific bend of your arms resulting in T-Rex-like arms.

Such a condition can be due to genetic or developmental problems or simply as a result of amputation or injury. For instance, an example of a condition causing T-Rex arms is achondroplasia, a short-limbed dwarfism.

Remember, the term does not refer to any structural, evolutionary, or functional similarities with the arms of the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex.

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting behavior [1].

It is quite a common condition beginning in early childhood and continuing into adulthood. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The American Psychiatric Association estimate that 8.8% of children in the US and 2.5% of adults have ADHD, respectively.

ADHD symptoms include problems with focusing and attention, episodes of hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors that interfere with daily life [2, 3]. ADHD can also cause symptoms that are less known, such as problems with eye contact, ADHD fatigue, or aphantasia. ADHD is even linked with hypermobility.

People with ADHD often have difficulties focusing on a single task or sitting for longer periods of time [2].

These symptoms may negatively impact their lives, as they present an additional challenge to perform well in school, work, and other activities [2, 3, 4, 5].

Do People Suffering From ADHD Also Suffer From T-Rex Arms?

Although there is no scientific evidence that specifically addresses this question, there have been case reports of motor coordination problems in patients with ADHD.

For instance, adults with ADHD have been found to exhibit postural instability, with larger spontaneous sway amplitudes and velocities compared to healthy subjects [6].

Another study found that adults with ADHD symptoms are associated with extremity fractures, suggesting potential issues with motor coordination [7].

In children with ADHD, motor deficits have been observed, including issues with grip force and movement rhythmicity [8]. Additionally, children with ADHD have been found to have problems with dynamic touch, affecting their ability to interact with objects [9].


However, there is no empirical evidence on whether people suffering from ADHD also bend their arms in a T-Rex style.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.