Comments on immune aspects of the Geschwind-Behan-Galaburda model and of the article of Bryden, McManus, and Bulman-Fleming

Brain Cogn. 1994 Nov;26(2):281-90. doi: 10.1006/brcg.1994.1063.


The goal of this article is to reconsider the links among immune disorders, testosterone, and left-handedness made originally by Geschwind and Behan (1982) and by Geschwind and Galaburda (1985). We demonstrate that an excess of testosterone in utero is not a prerequisite for immune disorders, because of its destructive action on thymus, and that allergy and autoimmune disorders are not primarily thymo-dependent but B-lymphocyte-dependent. We furthermore study the HLA proposed by Yeo and Gangestad (1993) and retained by Bryden, McManus, and Bulman-Fleming as a possible variable that could explain, in replacement of testosterone, the link among allergy, asthma, and ulcerative colitis. We conclude that the HLA of lefthanders and the meta-analysis of Bryden et al. do not fit together as well as hoped for.

MeSH terms

  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / etiology*
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / etiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Testosterone / physiology*
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • HLA Antigens
  • Testosterone