Schizophrenia can lead to left-handedness, study finds out

For a long time, it was known that people with schizophrenia posses’ certain distinctive characteristics. Research studies have been put into place to investigate thoroughly what these differences might possibly be. At the same time, an effort was also made to understand the underlying causes of the accounted changes.

One such study was conducted to find whether people with schizophrenia have a higher probability of being left-handed.

For the purpose of the research, scientists examined a number of psychiatric patients belonging to both Urban and rural population. The sample included people with a variety of mental disorders including bipolar, depression, ADHD and schizophrenia.

Only 11% of the people suffering from bipolar, depression and ADHD were left-handed. Whereas, a noticeable change was recorded for schizophrenic patients. About 40% of the said patients were known to be lefties.

Why Schizophrenia leads to Left-Handedness?

Once the results were out, they raised a cause of concern for the medical experts. Group of neurologists got together to examine why people with schizophrenia have the tendency to be left-handed.

Does the relation have something to do with the genetical set up of the person? Can environmental factors also count as contributors?

The researchers, henceforth, wanted to holistically answer all their concerns with regards to the issue.

Dr Jadon Webb, PhD fellow at Yale University has some explanations to offer for the attribute. According to Webb, the environment certainly has a role to play in the whole left-handedness situation.

Patient with schizophrenia may develop the tendency early in childhood age due to some environmental constraint. These constraints can be in the shape of malnutrition or some illness like flu.

A deeper insight into the relationship between environment and psychosis will reveal that external factors do have some role to play. They may ultimately be the deciding factor on the left-right hand situation.

On the other hand, some researchers had to disagree with Dr Webb. While conceding with the environment claim, they felt there is another point to consider. The point that holds genetics responsible for the distinction.

Although no detailed explanation has been provided, the recombination of chromosomes may be the contributory factor. People with schizophrenia may end up being left-handed due to the recombination of parent X and Y chromosomes to form the child’s DNA.

Yet again, more research is needed to arrive at a clearer explanation for the genetic cause.

Can this affect patients’ abilities?

So far, scientists have not yet established what really is the underlying cause of the problem. The debate revolves around genetic vs environment argument for like various other unexplained conditions.

Apart from that, the other question people tend to ask relates to a person’s ability.

In the first case scenario, it is important to understand that schizophrenia may lead to left-handedness and not the other way around. Not all left-hand people are schizophrenic and not all patients will be left-handed.

Secondly, scientists also feel that this phenomenon can also lead the patient to develop certain artistry skills. Most left-handed people with schizophrenia end up being great artists, musicians and even mathematicians! It is believed that left-handedness can lead to the person developing a broader perspective of things.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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