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J Med Genet. 2007 May;44(5):289-97. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

Genetics of dyslexia: the evolving landscape.

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Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Dyslexia is among the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with a prevalence of 5-12%. At the phenotypic level, various cognitive components that enable reading and spelling and that are disturbed in affected individuals can be distinguished. Depending on the phenotype dimension investigated, inherited factors are estimated to account for up to 80%. Linkage findings in dyslexia are relatively consistent across studies in comparison to findings for other neuropsychiatric disorders. This is particularly true for chromosome regions 1p34-p36, 6p21-p22, 15q21 and 18q11. Four candidate genes have recently been identified through systematic linkage disequilibrium studies in linkage region 6p21-p22, and through cloning approaches at chromosomal breakpoints. Results indicate that a disturbance in neuronal migration is a pathological correlate of dyslexia at the functional level. This review presents a summary of the latest insights into the genetics of dyslexia and an overview of anticipated future developments.

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