Giffords thinks she's right-handed, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is, Derakhshan said.
People choose a favorite hand by age 3 or 4 and it may not actually always be the dominant hand, he said. A person may choose the left because their father or mother is left-handed or vice versa.
"Ten to 15 percent of people in society claim a handedness that is not their own," he said.
Brain tumors should not be removed from the non-dominant side of the brain because of pressure, but only if the tumor is interfering with the normal function of the brain, he said.
His theory has implications beyond brain bleeds and tumors.
According to Derakhshan, all movement starts in the brain's major hemisphere. That includes seizures, which account for many of the operations that neurosurgeons do, he said.
"If you go and look at the statistics, half of [seizure surgeries] are done on the left side and half of it is done on the right side," he said. "It should be 80/20 percent. So they are going after the wrong hemisphere,"
Derakhshan said his thoughts about handedness have encountered some resistance. But he is also being recognized for them.
The abstract of one of his papers was published in the November 2012 issue of the Annals of Neurology.
Coincidentally, Giffords could also be at the AANS conference this month, as she's being honored with an award.
"[With] any new thing you are going to meet resistance," Derakhshan said. "... If I am a good spokesperson for nature ... if I'm telling the truth as far as nature is concerned, I'm going to win."Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.