LEFT-handed people have been given a raw deal for generations, but they may have finally come out on top.

Oxford University scientists say left-handers may have better verbal skills than their right-handed counterparts, thanks to new research.

The team has found the first genetic instructions hardwired into human DNA that make someone left-handed, with the relationship seemingly linked to the parts of the brain involving language.

Research published in the neurology journal Brain studied 400,000 people who have their DNA recorded in the UK Biobank, of which just over 38,000 are left-handed.

This reflects the global trend of roughly 10 per cent of people being left-handed, which is viewed as 'unlucky' or 'dangerous' in many cultures.

The study managed to pinpoint four genetic regions which it claims are linked to being left-handed.

Researchers found the left and right hemispheres of left-handed people's brains were more co-ordinated in the regions involving language.

This leads to the suggestion that they may have better verbal skills, although scientists admit this is a very small sample of the world's left-handed population and more research is needed.

Data also showed slightly higher risks of schizophrenia, and slightly lower risks of Parkinson's disease, in left-handed people.