Researchers Discover Reasons of being Left-Handedness

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 10:50

Researchers have found out that specific gene regions may appear to have some influence over left-handedness.

According to the Science Alert report, scientists, published their findings in Brain, became able to identify the specific areas on the genome responsible and found links to differences in brain structure in those who have these genetic variations, too.

This new study of around 400,000 individual records in a national UK database goes a long way to doing just that: it found four genetic regions associated with handedness, and three of those were linked to proteins involved in the brain's structure and development.

These proteins relate to the cytoskeleton, the scaffolding inside cells that's responsible for their construction and function.

With the help of brain scans of around 10,000 of the participants, the researchers linked the genetic variations with white matter tracts running between language-processing regions. These white matter tracts contain the cytoskeleton of the brain.

"Many researchers have studied the biological basis of handedness, but using large datasets from UK Biobank has allowed us to shed considerably more light on the processes leading to left-handedness," says physician Akira Wiberg.

"We discovered that, in left-handed participants, the language areas of the left and right sides of the brain communicate with each other in a more coordinated way." That means left handers might have an advantage when it comes to verbal tasks and language skills, Wiberg suggests, though the evidence for that is not conclusive.

While it is still too early to call this a conclusive link between these genes and whether we're left or right-handed, what the research does do is highlight significant associations between the two that further studies can build on.

We are finally beginning to make sense of the genetic coding that helps to influence which hand becomes dominant.

"Here we have demonstrated that left-handedness is a consequence of the developmental biology of the brain, in part driven by the complex interplay of many genes," says one of the team, Dominic Furniss, a plastic surgeon who researches molecular genetics.

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