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Rare Tumor May Cause ADHD Symptoms in Some Kids

In rare cases, children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) actually have a tumor that appears to cause symptoms similar to those of ADHD, according to a small new study.

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The researchers evaluated 43 children with rare tumors of the adrenal gland, called pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. (The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys, and produce adrenaline and other hormones.)

They found that nine of the children (21 percent) had been diagnosed with ADHD before doctors discovered their tumors. That’s much higher than the usual rate of ADHD in children, which is 7.2 percent. What’s more, after the tumors were removed, three out of the nine children no longer had symptoms of ADHD.

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