Genetic Cause for Dyslexia
Helsinki - Dyslexia, a learning disability affecting up to 10 % of people, may have a genetic component. By analyzing individuals from 20 finnish families with several cases and comparing previously narrowed-down target areas in dyslexic and non-dyslexic members of each family, scientists around Juha Kere identified a gene called DYX1C1 that proved to be faulty in many cases (PNAS Online, August 25-29, 2003). The gene was either disrupted or carried a stop signal in the wrong place, producing a truncated protein. The native protein might help brain cells deal with metabolic stress. The scientists believe dyslexia to be a “genetically complex condition” with other faulty genes yet to be found.