Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
Ruth E. Propper
Alan L. Pehrson
Background: Previous studies have examined the association between handedness and various autoimmune disorders. There is a possible link between handedness and immune system response due to high levels of testosterone in-utero which has been theorized to affect cerebral and immune system developments. To our knowledge, only two studies have examined the relationship between Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and handedness. Both studies used different measures of handedness and therefore, had contrasting results. In the current study, we suggest the need for a more appropriate way to measure handedness. Objective: This study investigates the relationship between MS type and Handedness. Methods: Participants with self-reported clinically definite MS were recruited online via the internet and social media sites relevant to the MS community. Participants completed several questionnaires about their MS diagnosis and hand preference. Only data from Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) and Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) participants (N = 188) were analyzed using three handedness classifications: Writing Hand, Handedness Direction, and Handedness Consistency. Results: A significant effect was observed between MS Type and Writing Hand as well as MS Type and Handedness Direction. Conclusions: The results suggest a possible association between handedness and MS type. Future research should examine larger MS samples with appropriate measures of handedness such as the current study’s method.
Villafana, Melissa, "Frequency of Multiple Sclerosis as a Function of Handedness" (2022). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 1006.