Sanity of Southpaws Scrutinized
Are you left handed? According to one research team, it could mean you're also a looney tune.
The Wellcome Trust for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford has recently completed an international study of southpaws. The findings are a bit startling: the same gene that leaves one left-handed may also lead to the development of schizophrenia, a mental disorder that impairs perception and affects approximately 1% of the global population.
It's all about brain symmetry. The gene in question, labelled LRRTM1, modifies that symmetry in the human brain. Although in most humans the left side of the brain controls both speech and language while the right handles our sometimes swinging emotions, that system is reversed for southpaws.
An excited abstract of the study has proclaimed, "This is the first potential genetic influence on human handedness to be identified, and the first putative genetic effect on variability in human brain asymmetry". (Source: cbc.ca)
Although the study opens up new avenues for heckling left-handed peoples, the study's leader, Dr. Clyde Francks believes, "People really should not be concerned by this result. There are many factors which make individuals more likely to develop schizophrenia and the vast majority of left-handers will never develop a problem. We don't yet know the precise role of this gene." (Source: telegraph.co.uk)
Furthermore, "There are many factors which make individuals more likely to develop schizophrenia," Francks assured, "and the vast majority of left-handers will never develop a problem."
Roughly one in ten people are left-handed.
An interesting study, although Mr. Ned Flanders, owner and operator of Springfield's famous "Leftorium", would certainly NOT be impressed.
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