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Gene involved in dyslexia identified

1 September 2003
Appeared in BioNews 223

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland have identified a gene which, when it is faulty, could be responsible for some cases of dyslexia. Characterised by a difficulty in recognising and reading words, dyslexia is thought to affect 3-10 per cent of the population. The team first looked at one family with several dyslexic members, but later extended the study to include 20 Finnish families, with 58 dyslexic and 61 non-dyslexic members. They found that a gene dubbed DYXC1 was disrupted in affected members of several of the families, but the team stress that it is unlikely to be involved in all cases of the disorder. 'There is overwhelming evidence that dyslexia is a genetically complex condition', say the scientists, who published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The newly identified DYXC1 gene makes  protein used by brain cells in some way, but the team says more research is needed to find out exactly what it does. It does not resemble any other known proteins, but it might be involved in helping cells cope with stress, they say. 'Our results give unexpected new ideas about the biochemical events that occur in the brain when we read or write' said team leader Juha Kere.

Dyslexia 'caused by faulty gene'
BBC News Online |  26 August 2003
Dyslexia gene found
The Daily Telegraph |  26 August 2003
Faulty gene gives clue to tackling dyslexia
The Times |  26 August 2003
Finnish researchers say find dyslexia gene
Reuters |  25 August 2003
6 October 2008 - by Alison Cranage 
Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University, UK, have identified a genetic variant that is linked to reading ability. The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, implicate a gene that could also be involved in dyslexia. Dr Silvia Paracchini, lead...
31 October 2005 - by BioNews 
Alterations in a gene involved in 'wiring up' the brain may cause up to 20 per cent of dyslexia cases, say US researchers. The team, based at Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut, say that mutations in the DCDC2 gene could cause the common language disorder. The scientists published their...
7 March 2005 - by BioNews 
UK researchers have identified a gene linked to dyslexia, a disorder thought to affect around three to ten per cent of the population. The team, based at the University of Cardiff, studied 223 people with the disorder. Their results, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, show that certain...
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