Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia

Date:
October 31, 2013
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Being left-handed has been linked to many mental disorders, but now scientists have found that among those with mental illnesses, people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are much more likely to be left-handed than those with mood disorders like depression or bipolar syndrome. The new study is published in the Oct.-Dec. 2013 issue of the journal SAGE Open.

Lefties are more likely to have psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.
Credit: Photo illustration by Michael Helfenbein, Yale University

Being left-handed has been linked to many mental disorders, but Yale researcher Jadon Webb and his colleagues have found that among those with mental illnesses, people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are much more likely to be left-handed than those with mood disorders like depression or bipolar syndrome.

The new study is published in the October-December 2013 issue of the journal SAGE Open.

About 10% of the U.S. population is left-handed. When comparing all patients with mental disorders, the research team found that 11% of those diagnosed with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are left-handed, which is similar to the rate in the general population. But according to Webb, a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the Yale Child Study Center with a particular interest in biomarkers of psychosis, "a striking of 40% of those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are left-handed."

"In general, people with psychosis are those who have lost touch with reality in some way, through hallucinations, delusions, or false beliefs, and it is notable that this symptom constellation seems to correlate with being left-handed," said Webb. "Finding biomarkers such as this can hopefully enable us to identify and differentiate mental disorders earlier, and perhaps one day tailor treatment in more effective ways."

Webb and his colleagues studied 107 individuals from a public outpatient psychiatric clinic seeking treatment in an urban, low-income community. The research team determined the frequency of left-handedness within the group of patients identified with different types of mental disorders.

The study showed that white patients with psychotic illness were more likely to be left-handed than black patients. "Even after controlling for this, however, a large difference between psychotic and mood disorder patients remained," said Webb.

What sets this study apart from other handedness research is the simplicity of the questionnaire and analysis, said Webb. Patients who were attending their usual check-ups at the mental health facility were simply asked "What hand do you write with?"

"This told us much of what we needed to know in a very simple, practical way," said Webb. "Doing a simple analysis meant that there were no obstacles to participating and we had a very high participation rate of 97%. Patients dealing with serious symptoms of psychosis might have had a harder time participating in a more complicated set of questions or tests. By keeping the survey simple, we were able to get an accurate snapshot of a hard-to-study subgroup of mentally ill people -- those who are often poverty-stricken with very poor family and community support."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Karen N. Peart. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. R. Webb, M. I. Schroeder, C. Chee, D. Dial, R. Hana, H. Jefee, J. Mays, P. Molitor. Left-Handedness Among a Community Sample of Psychiatric Outpatients Suffering From Mood and Psychotic Disorders. SAGE Open, 2013; 3 (4) DOI: 10.1177/2158244013503166

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125319.htm>.
Yale University. (2013, October 31). Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125319.htm
Yale University. "Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131031125319.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Is Left-Handedness Higher Among Those Suffering from Psychosis?

Oct. 30, 2013 Researchers have long studied the connections between hand dominance and different aspects of the human brain. A new study finds that among those with mental illnesses, left-handers are more likely ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins