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Keywords:

  • schizophrenia;
  • handedness;
  • laterality;
  • meta-analysis

Objective:  The prevalence of various anomalous handedness subtypes in schizophrenia patients remains ambiguous. Although current literature favours the notion that the shift in lateral preferences seen is because of an increase of mixed-handedness, several studies suggest that exclusive left handedness is more prevalent than in the general population.

Method:  Over 40 studies with reported prevalence data on various handedness subtypes in a schizophrenia population were evaluated by meta-analysis. Combined odds ratios for the three common handedness subtypes (left, mixed, and right) were separately calculated.

Results:  Each of the three atypical hand dominance patterns were significantly greater in schizophrenia patients than in control subjects, showing that the leftward shift in handedness distribution is not entirely because of an increase in mixed-handedness alone.

Conclusion:  An increase of exclusive left-handedness is at variance with the prevailing assertion that the handedness shift in schizophrenia patients is because of a diffuse and bilateral hemispheric insult.