Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Research > Left-handed DNA found

Left-handed DNA found

– and it changes your brain structure!

Left handed DNA foundResearchers have studied the full DNA sequences of 38,000 left-handers from a total of 400,000 people on the UK Biobank records to see if they could spot any consistent differences related to their left-handedness.
They found four “hotspots” where there seemed to be genetic differences that could be of interest. These included evidence that the two halves of the brain – the left and right hemispheres – were better connected and more co-ordinated in regions involved in language for the lefthanders, possible resulting in better language skills. The study also indicated slightly higher risks of schizophrenia and slightly lower risks of Parkinson's disease in left-handed people.
This all by no means conclusive, but it is a big first step to establishing the genetic basis for left-handedness. But the best guess at the moment is that handedness is 25% genetic and 75% down to the environment (anything that's not in the genes, including the environment in the wormb). This study has found only the first 1% of that genetic component and only in a British population, so there is a long way to go!
RTE in Ireland produced a short video on it with an interview with one of the researchers, Professor Gwen Douaud, who is herself left-handed.
If you fancy some heavy reading, the study results were originally published here:
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2 comments on “Left-handed DNA found
  1. L.M.Bannister says:

    Fascinating and provides more proof that lefties aren’t “deformed” or “wrong”. I hope that more studies will be done in the States (where I live).
    My mother, who is right handed, is one of seven siblings. Two of those siblings are left-handed. I wonder how that came to be seeing as only one in ten of the population in general are left-handed.
    One of my brothers is left-handed. There are four of us. I’m right-handed, my ex-husband is left-handed, and my daughter is left-handed. My left-handed brother married a right-handed woman and all of their three children are right-handed. My right-handed youngest brother has fraternal twin daughters, one of whom is left-handed. Their mother is right-handed.
    I should also note that my brothers have a different father than I and he is right-handed. My father is unknown to me and my mother has never told me whether he’s right or left-handed (I’ve never bothered to ask).
    I also don’t know about the handedness of previous generations.
    I wonder if any studies of the handedness of family groups have been done.
    That would be a very interesting read!

    • Mrs. A.J. Millington says:

      Indeed, a handedness study would be interesting. As the oldest of five kids, I am left-handed with 2 brothers and a sister who are the same. Only my younger sister is right-handed. At age 4, my parents forced me to be right-handed. It was quite awkward and left me confused. Using my right hand always resulted in a sloppy right-handed script. Years later while studying my ancestry, I discovered that the left-handed gene (DNA) was on my father’s side of the family!
      Early 2017 my right wrist/hand were injured while ice skating SO, EVERYTHING was done with my left hand. After my right hand healed, remaining a southpaw was natural, more comfortable, since that’s the way I’m wired. It really is a DNA issue, one deserving further intensive study.

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