The Courier-Mail

MP questions Bridgeman’s relationsh­ip with militants

Mum’s hormone deficit hinders child’s maths

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A MEMBER of Parliament’s intelligen­ce committee has questioned Toowoomba teen Oliver Bridgeman’s relationsh­ip with rebel groups in Syria.

Federal Government whip Andrew Nikolic cast doubts on Mr Bridgeman’s ability to move around the country without militants’ support. “How do you move in ungoverned, uncon- trolled spaces where the Syrian Government has no control … without running into those sort of people (rebel groups)?’’ Mr Nikolic said. Mr Bridgeman, 18, who reje jected suggest tions he was a ji jihadi, was s smuggled acrossa the Syrian border and spent three months in aid camps.

He denied visitingv “any declared zones”. A HORMONE deficiency in mothers increases the chances of their children being bad at maths, research has shown.

Children of women with low levels of thyroid hormone thyroxine are 60 per cent more likely to have a poor head for sums than those whose mothers have normal levels, scientists found.

Previous studies had already shown that women lacking thyroxine are at risk of giving birth to children with impaired mental developmen­t.

The new findings are the first to indicate how this might affect a child’s performanc­e at school. Lead author Dr Martijn Finken, from the VU University Medical Centre in the Netherland­s, said: “Whether these problems persist into adulthood remains to be seen.”

Dr Finken’s team measured thyroxine levels in the mothers of 1196 healthy children when they were 12 weeks pregnant.

The children’s progress was followed until age five. The study found that five-year-olds whose mothers had the lowest levels of thyroxine at the end of their first three months of pregnancy were almost twice as likely to score “subnormal” marks in maths.

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