The presentation of dermatoglyphic abnormalities in schizophrenia: A meta-analytic review

Shana Golembo-Smith, Deborah J. Walder, Maureen P. Daly, Vijay A. Mittal, Emily Kline, Gloria Reeves, Jason Schiffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Within a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, prenatal developmental deviations are implicated as early signs of increased risk for future illness. External markers of central nervous system maldevelopment may provide information regarding the nature and timing of prenatal disruptions among individuals with schizophrenia. One such marker is dermatoglyphic abnormalities (DAs) or unusual epidermal ridge patterns. Studies targeting DAs as a potential sign of early developmental disruption have yielded mixed results with regard to the strength of the association between DAs and schizophrenia. The current study aimed to resolve these inconsistencies by conducting a meta-analysis examining the six most commonly cited dermatoglyphic features among individuals with diagnoses of schizophrenia. Twenty-two studies published between 1968 and 2012 were included. Results indicated significant but small effects for total finger ridge count and total A-B ridge count, with lower counts among individuals with schizophrenia relative to controls. Other DAs examined in the current meta-analysis did not yield significant effects. Total finger ridge count and total A-B ridge count appear to yield the most reliable dermatoglyphic differences between individuals with and without schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Dermatoglyphics
  • Meta-analysis
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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