Home > Mental health > News Updated 04 November 2013 Lefties more likely to have psychotic disorders American researchers say 40% of patients being treated for schizophrenia or other mental disorders are left-handed. 1 iStock Related Genes determine if you're right- or left-handed Genes determine if you're right- or left-handed Ask CyberShrink » Talk Heart to heart forum » 13 hidden signs of stress Regenerative medicine: replacing brain cells lost from stroke 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 US 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. False beliefsBut according to Webb, a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the Yale Child Study Centre with a particular interest in biomarkers of psychosis, "a striking 40% of those with schizophrenia or schizo-affective 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-made treatment in more effective ways."Left-handedness frequencyWebb 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.Mental healthWhat sets this study apart from other 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 wasn’t any obstacles 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." EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X 'The plane is going to crash': Anxiety aboard flight SAA 323 2017-10-17 07:45 More: Mental healthNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 1 comment Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news News SAHRC overseeing HIV patients' transfer to public health facilities Medical 7 reasons why your sinusitis could be worse in winter Lifestyle How skipping this much sleep makes arguing with your partner more dangerous Fitness Unlock your best performance with these 4 mindset tips Lifestyle SEE: How many people smoke around the world? Diet and nutrition Chef schools compete to produce tasty R15 lunch box From our sponsors Win a R1 500 hamper with Alpecin Hypertension Consumer Fact Sheet Understanding diabetes self-management WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Live healthier Mental health & your work » How open are you about mental illness in the workplace? Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips. Sleep & You » Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia 6 things that are sabotaging your sleep Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.