Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified 2 genes that together increase the risk for dyslexia and other language difficulties. The study was based on DNA samples of 10,000 children. When these 2 genes are found together, the chance of dyslexia increases 8-fold. The hope is that this discovery will aid in the early, and correct, diagnosis in children for dyslexia, so that intervention can be carried out earlier on, when remediation is most effective.
Article below appeared on News 8 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Yale study could lead to early dyslexia diagnosis
Updated: Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 6:10 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 3:48 PM EDT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Yale study on dyslexia could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective intervention.
Teachers typically are the first to recognize a child is having a tough time reading, spelling, reading aloud and understanding what is being said.
“This is a map of the human genome,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gruen, Yale School of Medicine.
Now, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified two genes, that together, increase the risk for dyslexia and language disabilities.
“This is the second dyslexia risk gene,” said Dr. Gruen. “It has a huge effect for risk of dyslexia, that can actually increase the risk for dyslexia almost 8 fold in the general population.”
What Dr. Gruen and his research unit have pinpointed could lead to an even earlier diagnosis of kids with dyslexia and impaired language skills.
“Half the time kids in the United States are misdiagnosed for dyslexia,” said Dr. Gruen.
They studied DNA samples of 10,000 children provided by British scientists to identify the genes.
Important data for parents with children with dyslexia.
“There’s a certain amount of validation that they seek,” Dr. Gruen said, “this will help them do that and also we are able to help them get the kind of resources and intervention they need, which are always provided at a local level.”
More studies are underway. The goal is to develop a diagnostic screening panel to identify kids at risk before they get in trouble at school.
“The key is finding it early,” said Dr. Gruen. “If you try to do these even comprehensive, and intense interventions at later years like late adolescence, it’s not as affective as in early, early years.”
Dr. Gruen tells News 8 that ability to screen for kids at risk is probably two to five years out.
Other symptoms of dyslexia include trouble with memorizing, time management and learning another language. Many are diagnosed in their teens and when they’re adults, but experts say it’s never too late to get help.