INTRODUCTION: Dermatoglyphic pattern formation and differentiation are complex processes which have been in the focus of research interest ever since dermatoglyphics became a science. The patterns’ early differentiation and genetic uniqueness as well as the relatively simple methods used to obtain and store fingerprints make it possible to study the relationship between certain dermatoglyphic characteristics and the underlying pathological processes in a number of diseases, including mental disorders. AIM: The present review reports published data from fundamental and clinical studies on dermatoglyphics primarily in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to lend additional support for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis in the etiology of these disorders. Following an analysis of the theories of dermatoglyphics formation and the complex association between ridge patterns and central nervous system in early embryogenesis, an attempt is made to present dermatoglyphics as possible biological markers of impaired neurodevelopment. CONCLUSIONS: The contradictory data in the literature on dermatoglyphics in mental disorders suggest the need for further studies on these biological markers in order to identify their place in the neurodevelopmental etiological model of these diseases
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