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Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Oct;16(2):330-4. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Incidence of atypical handedness in epilepsy and its association with clinical factors.

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Department of Neurology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


The incidence of atypical handedness (left-handedness and ambidexterity) in patients with epilepsy, particularly its association with major clinical factors, is not well established. We evaluated a full range of clinical variables in 478 patients with epilepsy from the United States and Korea. With the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, handedness was established as both a categorical variable (right-handed, left-handed, ambidextrous) and a continuous variable. Seizures were classified as complex or simple partial, primary generalized, or generalized tonic-clonic. The relationship between handedness and a range of clinical findings was explored. The overall incidence of atypical handedness in our patients was higher than in the general population (13.6%) and significantly higher in the U.S. patient group (17.6%) than in the Korean patients (8.8%). Handedness was not associated with sex; age; seizure type; age at onset; type, side, or site of EEG or brain imaging abnormalities; family history of seizures; refractory epilepsy; or history of epilepsy surgery.

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