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Gene which could cause dyslexia possibly identified

Molecular analysis on the activity of the DCDC2 gene which have appeared with certain alterations in children which suffer from dyslexia open a new door to try to understand and treat the hardships children have trying to learn to read and write.

Bogotá D. C., 26 de mayo de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

Of a total of 40 alleles, repetition of the 5th allel was greater in patients with diagnosed dyslexia.

The author of the research project and Neurosciences master’s candidate Gineth López Colorado.

Dyslexia is a disorder which hinders reading and writing learning in children.

Not only genetics has a bearing in dyslexia. There are favorable and unfavorable environments in reading and writing.

The children assessed are from mid to low socioeconomic status and with ages between 7 and 11 years of age.

This new development was the result of research carried out on 100 children between the ages and 7 and 11 which half had dyslexia. 

Genes are comprised of introns and extrons. A DCDC2 gene deletion as well as allele repetition, part of introns, appeared with greater prevalence in a group of children with reading and writing issues. 

Although the deletion and STR appeared in both groups (51 and 49 –these with dyslexia) it was most persistent in the latter. Of the children with dyslexia, 9 had a gene deletion or detachment of a part of the gene; the control group only had 2. 

The reason for this detachment which occurs on intron number 2 and the distortions on a part of this fragment known as short tandem repeat (STR) are still unknown. 

“The DCDC2 gene is expressed during neuronal migration when the neural cortex is maturing; i.e. during childhood, which coincides with the first years of school,” said Universidad Nacional de Colombian (UNal) Special Education teaching major and UNal Neurosciences master’s candidate Gineth López Colorado. 

Although this is a small sample and scientific literature reveals that school environments may favor or disfavor reading and writing processes, among other measures, the research project is pioneering in the molecular perspective, providing clues to treat dyslexia in a Hispanic environment. 

From other gene analysis research they chose 11 genes with greater language susceptibility including KIA, DYX1C1, DCX, FOSFE2 and DCDC2 genes which show greater association with the alteration. However it is also known that dyslexia may be hereditary and not exclusively associated with the DCDC2 gene. 

The research project included a group of schoolchildren from two Bogotá schools as well as a mid to low socioeconomic status school for children with epilepsy. Children from upper socioeconomic status were excluded from the project due to the bilingual component and to not involve assessments patterns of the Spanish language. 

Children with dyslexia require more pedagogic support due to the signals they manifest, including difficulty to learn letters and confusions between them (p, q, b, or d), difficulty to read whole words and to link consonant-vowels or inclusively words distortions such as three with tree or similar structured words. 

Some of these signals were shown by half of the children with school dyslexia diagnosis (reading evaluation) and familiar or clinical (neuropsychological evaluation). 

With consent from the parents the research group drew blood samples and checked the DNA and extended each of the polymorphisms, deletions and the STR. 

The results showed that not all children which have reading or writing issues have dyslexia. In fact there are phonological and visual type dyslexia’s among the reading and writing difficulties in children. 

Therefore neurophysiological and neuropediatric evaluations in children are key for diagnosing dyslexia and ideally between the ages of 6 and 7. 

The results were provided during the 2016 Research Days at the UNal Institute of Genetics.

(Por: Fin/HEVC/MLA/APBL
)
N.° 787

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