NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – People who have a compulsive urge to collect and clutter their homes with junk can partly attribute their problem to genes, according to a British study.
Researchers from King's College London used a twin study to find that explained a large amount of the risk for -- a mental health problem in which people have an overwhelming desire to accumulate items normally considered useless, like old newspapers or junk mail.
Of the more than 5,000 twins in the study, roughly 2 percent showed symptoms of compulsive hoarding and genes appeared to account for half of the variance in risk.
Researcher Dr. David Mataix-Cols said it has long been known that compulsive hoarding tends to run in families.
But he told Reuters Health that what has not been clear is whether that pattern is due to genes or to something in the home environment, like parenting practices.
" allow us to separate these two sources," Mataix-Cols said.
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, included both identical and fraternal twins. share all of their DNA while fraternal twins share roughly half of their genes, making them no more genetically similar than non-twin siblings..." More