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Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia: Yale study
Date:10/31/2013

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 o
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Contact: Karen N. Peart
karen.peart@yale.edu
203-432-1326
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia: Yale study
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