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Genes (Basel). 2014 Apr 4;5(2):285-309. doi: 10.3390/genes5020285.

Reading and language disorders: the importance of both quantity and quality.

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Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.
Tufts University, Ballou Hall, Medford, MA 02155, USA.
School of Medicine, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ, UK.


Reading and language disorders are common childhood conditions that often co-occur with each other and with other neurodevelopmental impairments. There is strong evidence that disorders, such as dyslexia and Specific Language Impairment (SLI), have a genetic basis, but we expect the contributing genetic factors to be complex in nature. To date, only a few genes have been implicated in these traits. Their functional characterization has provided novel insight into the biology of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, the lack of biological markers and clear diagnostic criteria have prevented the collection of the large sample sizes required for well-powered genome-wide screens. One of the main challenges of the field will be to combine careful clinical assessment with high throughput genetic technologies within multidisciplinary collaborations.

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