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Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness

Cuellar-Partida, G; Tung, JY; Eriksson, N; Albrecht, E; Aliev, F; Andreassen, OA; Barroso, I; ... Medland, SE; + view all (2021) Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness. Nature Human Behaviour , 5 (1) pp. 59-70. 10.1038/s41562-020-00956-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Handedness has been extensively studied because of its relationship with language and the over-representation of left-handers in some neurodevelopmental disorders. Using data from the UK Biobank, 23andMe and the International Handedness Consortium, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of handedness (N = 1,766,671). We found 41 loci associated (P < 5 × 10-8) with left-handedness and 7 associated with ambidexterity. Tissue-enrichment analysis implicated the CNS in the aetiology of handedness. Pathways including regulation of microtubules and brain morphology were also highlighted. We found suggestive positive genetic correlations between left-handedness and neuropsychiatric traits, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the genetic correlation between left-handedness and ambidexterity is low (rG = 0.26), which implies that these traits are largely influenced by different genetic mechanisms. Our findings suggest that handedness is highly polygenic and that the genetic variants that predispose to left-handedness may underlie part of the association with some psychiatric disorders.

Type: Article
Title: Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41562-020-00956-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00956-y
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Adult, Aged, Female, Functional Laterality, Gene Frequency, Genetic Loci, Genetic Variation, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Linkage Disequilibrium, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Quantitative Trait, Heritable, Sex Factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139769
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