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J Neurodev Disord. 2011 Dec;3(4):365-73. doi: 10.1007/s11689-011-9091-6. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Dissection of genetic associations with language-related traits in population-based cohorts.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7BN, UK,


Recent advances in the field of language-related disorders have led to the identification of candidate genes for specific language impairment (SLI) and dyslexia. Replication studies have been conducted in independent samples including population-based cohorts, which can be characterised for a large number of relevant cognitive measures. The availability of a wide range of phenotypes allows us to not only identify the most suitable traits for replication of genetic association but also to refine the associated cognitive trait. In addition, it is possible to test for pleiotropic effects across multiple phenotypes which could explain the extensive comorbidity observed across SLI, dyslexia and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The availability of genome-wide genotype data for such cohorts will facilitate this kind of analysis but important issues, such as multiple test corrections, have to be taken into account considering that small effect sizes are expected to underlie such associations.

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