Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetics of dyslexia and language impairment unraveled

Date:
June 13, 2013
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A new study of the genetic origins of dyslexia and other learning disabilities could allow for earlier diagnoses and more successful interventions, according to researchers. Many students now are not diagnosed until high school, at which point treatments are less effective.

A new study of the genetic origins of dyslexia and other learning disabilities could allow for earlier diagnoses and more successful interventions, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine. Many students now are not diagnosed until high school, at which point treatments are less effective.

The study is published online and in the July print issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics. Senior author Dr. Jeffrey R. Gruen, professor of pediatrics, genetics, and investigative medicine at Yale, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 10,000 children born in 1991-1992 who were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) conducted by investigators at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Gruen and his team used the ALSPAC data to unravel the genetic components of reading and verbal language. In the process, they identified genetic variants that can predispose children to dyslexia and language impairment, increasing the likelihood of earlier diagnosis and more effective interventions.

Dyslexia and language impairment are common learning disabilities that make reading and verbal language skills difficult. Both disorders have a substantial genetic component, but despite years of study, determining the root cause had been difficult.

In previous studies, Gruen and his team found that dopamine-related genes ANKK1 and DRD2 are involved in language processing. In further non-genetic studies, they found that prenatal exposure to nicotine has a strong negative affect on both reading and language processing. They had also previously found that a gene called DCDC2 was linked to dyslexia.

In this new study, Gruen and colleagues looked deeper within the DCDC2 gene to pinpoint the specific parts of the gene that are responsible for dyslexia and language impairment. They found that some variants of a gene regulator called READ1 (regulatory element associated with dyslexia1) within the DCDC2 gene are associated with problems in reading performance while other variants are strongly associated with problems in verbal language performance.

Gruen said these variants interact with a second dyslexia risk gene called KIAA0319. "When you have risk variants in both READ1 and KIAA0319, it can have a multiplier effect on measures of reading, language, and IQ," he said. "People who have these variants have a substantially increased likelihood of developing dyslexia or language impairment."

"These findings are helping us to identify the pathways for fluent reading, the components of those pathways; and how they interact," said Gruen. "We now hope to be able to offer a pre-symptomatic diagnostic panel, so we can identify children at risk before they get into trouble at school. Almost three-quarters of these children will be reading at grade level if they get early intervention, and we know that intervention can have a positive lasting effect."

Other authors on the study include Natalie R. Powers, John D. Eicher, Falk Butter, Yong Kong, Laura L. Miller, Susan M. Ring, and Matthias Mann.

This work was supported by the UK medical research council, the Wellcome Trust (092731), the Yale Center for Genome Analysis; and the National Institutes of Health (R01 NS043530 and F31 DC012270)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Karen N. Peart. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. NatalieR. Powers, JohnD. Eicher, Falk Butter, Yong Kong, LauraL. Miller, SusanM. Ring, Matthias Mann, JeffreyR. Gruen. Alleles of a Polymorphic ETV6 Binding Site in DCDC2 Confer Risk of Reading and Language Impairment. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.05.008

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Genetics of dyslexia and language impairment unraveled." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124318.htm>.
Yale University. (2013, June 13). Genetics of dyslexia and language impairment unraveled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124318.htm
Yale University. "Genetics of dyslexia and language impairment unraveled." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613124318.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins