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Genetic link to dyslexia

A gene variant involved in brain development may contribute to reading problems, including dyslexia

4:15pm, October 3, 2008
Unlike speaking, reading is a thoroughly unnatural act. That doesn’t mean that biology has no role in literacy. A gene involved in early brain development influences a range of reading problems, including dyslexia, a new study published online October 1 in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests.

British children ages 7 to 9 who inherited a particular genetic sequence on chromosome 6 tended to perform poorly on tests of reading and spelling abilities, whether or not they had already been classified as dyslexic, say geneticist Silvia Paracchini of the University of Oxford in England and her colleagues. On average, carriers of the key genetic sequence scored as well on IQ tests as other kids did.

In an earlier report, the scientists found that the DNA sequence spans part of a gene called KIAA0319 and is linked to dyslexia in children in England and the United States. Paracchini’s group has also shown that the chromo

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