How to recognize the hand in Down syndrome - 27 characteristics.

How to recognize the hand in Down syndrome?

Lionel Sharples Penrose introduced in 1963 in the magazine Nature the first ‘phantom picture’ for the hand in Down syndrome. The picture described some of the typical characteristics of the hand in Down syndrome – including the ‘simian crease’. Later more detailed ‘phantom pictures’ were presented by Schaumann & Alter (1976), and Rodewald (1981).

In januari 2010 a more detailed version became available – describing 27 characteristics of the hand in Down’s syndrome!

What are the most typical hand characteristics in Down’s syndrome?

HAND LINES:
A common characteristic is the presence of the famous ‘simian line‘; an alternative is the presence of another unusual hand line: the Sydney line.

DERMATOGLYPHICS:
Here one should especially notice the hypothenar zone of the hand (in palmistry a.k.a. ‘mount of moon’); usually this zone a large ‘ulnar loop’ pattern combined with a high positioned palmar axial triradius.

HAND SHAPE:
Short fingers (thumb and pinky finger are often abnormally short) + a square shaped palm.

NOTICE: The author of the new ‘phantom picture’ for Down syndrome described a specific guideline which states that in all cases of Down syndrome certain combinations of the 27 characteristics are found in both the fingers AND the palm of the hand!

A presentation of all details is available at:
How to use the simian line + 26 other characteristics as a hand marker in Down’s syndrome!

Photo: example of the hand in a Down syndrome baby

Example of a baby hand in Down syndrome (trisomy 21).

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A curved little finger is often seen in people who have autism or medical syndromes.

A curved little finger is often seen in people who have autism or medical syndromes.

How the ‘pinky’ (little finger) relates to autism:

The presence of small physical defects – such as a curved little finger (the ‘pinky’ or ‘pinkie’) – and the occurrence of autism often go together. This is concluded by Ozgen – Dutch researcher at the UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The conclusion is the result of a meta-analysis of seven studies (published in the years: 1975-2005) in which the characteristics of 330 patients and 328 healthy controls are integrated. Ozgen became PhD on November 28, and July (2009) the results of her study are published in the journal ‘Molecular Psychiatry’.

 

Ozgen reports that the most significant physical defects related to autism are: (1) a ‘curved’ pinky finger, (2) toes slightly too far apart, (3) deformed ear lobes, (4) a higher palate, and (5) eyes slightly further apart.

In medical jargon the curved pinky (curved pinkie) is known as: clinodactlyly. Other common problems related to the pinky finger are: polydactyly (an extra pinky), camptodactyly (bent finger) & syndactyly (webbed fingers).

Male with curved little finger in both hands.

How surprizing is this research result on the ‘curved’ little finger really?

Maybe not so surprizing at all! For, in time a curved little finger has been related to up to over 60 medical syndromes, including: Klinefelter XXY syndrome, FAS: fetal alcohol syndrome (16% to 51%), and most common: Down syndrome (35% to 79%).

However, one should also noticed here that the ‘curved’ little finger can be seen in the hands of healthy people as well. Statistics for normal & healthy people reported for the ‘curved’ little finger vary from: 1% to 19.5%.

READ MORE ABOUT THE LITTLE FINGER:

  • Never underestimate your little finger: the ‘pinkie’!
  • Dermatoglyphics of the little finger relate to autism
  • The length of the little finger varies among males & females
  • Palm reading & palmistry books
  • News reports about the index finger & ring finger
  • Hand problems related to the fingers: clinodactyly, syndactyly & polydactyly
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