Hyperactive Heredity

Scientists find a genetic cause for the distractive disorder

PAY ATTENTION, PARENTS. IT IS NOT YOUR ATTITUDE but your genes that are to blame for the extreme restlessness and impulsiveness in your hyperactive child. According to research conducted at the National Institutes of Health, at least some cases of the behavioral disorder, thought to affect 3% to 5% of school-age children, are triggered by the same hereditary error that causes an uncommon endocrine disorder called generalized resistance to thyroid hormone. After studying 104 people from 18 families with a history of the rare disorder, scientists determined that 70% of affected children also suffered from hyperactivity. If confirmed, the results suggest...

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