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Left-handedness and health

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Author(s): Milenković Sanja | Belojević Goran | Kocijančić Radojka

Journal: Srpski Arhiv za Celokupno Lekarstvo
ISSN 0370-8179

Volume: 138;
Issue: 5-6;
Start page: 387;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: functional laterality | development | health | disease

ABSTRACT
Hand dominance is defined as a proneness to use one hand rather than another in performing the majority of activities and this is the most obvious example of cerebral lateralization and an exclusive human characteristic. Left-handed people comprise 6-14% of the total population, while in Serbia, this percentage is 5-10%, moving from undeveloped to developed environments, where a socio-cultural pressure is less present. There is no agreement between investigators who in fact may be considered a left-handed person, about the percentage of left-handers in the population and about the etiology of left-handedness. In the scientific literature left-handedness has been related to health disorders (spine deformities, immunological disorders, migraine, neurosis, depressive psychosis, schizophrenia, insomnia, homosexuality, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, sleep apnea, enuresis nocturna and Down Syndrome), developmental disorders (autism, dislexia and sttutering) and traumatism. The most reliable scientific evidences have been published about the relationship between left-handedness and spinal deformities in school children in puberty and with traumatism in general population. The controversy of other results in up-to-now investigations of health aspects of left-handedness may partly be explained by a scientific disagreement whether writing with the left hand is a sufficient criterium for left-handedness, or is it necessary to investigate other parameters for laterality assessment. Explanation of health aspects of left-handedness is dominantly based on Geschwind-Galaburda model about 'anomalous' cerebral domination, as a consequence of hormonal disbalance. .

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