Left, Left, Left Right Left….

While the military may march to this beat, according to a new study perhaps it should be left, left, left, right…Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) .

Not quite as catchy, but according to a recent study published in Pediatrics, children who are ambidextrous may be more likely to have learning, speech and mental health problems. Of the 8000 children studied, about 1% were ambidextrous, and of these about 30% had scholastic problems.

The children were studied at ages 7 and 8 and then again at 15 and 16. “When they were 16, the children who were mix-handed were more likely to have inattention problems and all the symptoms related to ADHD” said lead researcher Alina Rodriguez, a visiting researcher and professor of psychology at Imperial College London.

However, she was quick to point out that it wasn’t the fact a child was ambidextrous that caused scholastic problems or ADHD, but rather that mix-handedness is a reflection of the brain’s circuitry and that mixed handed individuals brains are wired differently from those who are dominant handed. “The fact that their brain is functioning in a different way may be good or bad,” continued Rodriguez.  People like Da Vinci, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Paul McCartney were reported to be mix-handed.

So far, no one’s suggesting that kids be forced to use one hand or the other – the treatment some lefties, including your very own Word on Health blogger, once endured before the rest of society got enlightened. For now, it’s just one more thing about which easily unnerved parents can fret.

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