Several copy number variants have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and these variants have been shown to also influence cognitive abilities in carriers unaffected by psychiatric disorders. Previously, we associated the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion with specific learning disabilities and a larger corpus callosum. Here we investigate, in a much larger sample, the effect of the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion on cognitive, structural and functional correlates of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We report that the deletion confers greatest risk of the combined phenotype of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We also show that the deletion associates with a smaller left fusiform gyrus. Moreover, tailored functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments using phonological lexical decision and multiplication verification tasks demonstrate altered activation in the left fusiform and the left angular gyri in carriers. Thus, by using convergent evidence from neuropsychological testing, and structural and functional neuroimaging, we show that the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects cognitive, structural and functional correlates of both dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Previous studies have suggested that a locus predisposing to specific reading disability (dyslexia) resides on chromosome 6p23-p21.3. We investigated 79 families having at least two siblings affected with phonological coding dyslexia, the most common form of reading disability (617 people genotyped, 294 affected), and we tested for linkage with the genetic markers reported to be linked to dyslexia in those studies. No evidence for linkage was found by LOD score analysis or affected-sib-pair methods. However, using the affected-pedigree-member (APM) method, we detected significant evidence for linkage and/or association with some markers when we used published allele frequencies with weighting of rarer alleles. APM results were not significant when we used marker allele frequencies estimated from parents. Furthermore, results were not significant with the more robust SIMIBD method using either published or parental marker frequencies. Finally, family-based association analysis using the AFBAC program showed no evidence for association with any marker. We conclude that the APM method should be used only with extreme caution, because it appears to have generated false-positive results. In summary, using a large data set with high power to detect linkage, we were unable to find evidence for linkage or association between phonological coding dyslexia and chromosome 6p markers.
Cites: Am J Hum Genet. 1997 Jan;60(1):27-398981944
Cites: Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Apr;58(4):892-58644756
In a small fraction of patients with schizophrenia or autism, alleles of copy-number variants (CNVs) in their genomes are probably the strongest factors contributing to the pathogenesis of the disease. These CNVs may provide an entry point for investigations into the mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction alike. They are not fully penetrant and offer an opportunity to study their effects separate from that of manifest disease. Here we show in an Icelandic sample that a few of the CNVs clearly alter fecundity (measured as the number of children by age 45). Furthermore, we use various tests of cognitive function to demonstrate that control subjects carrying the CNVs perform at a level that is between that of schizophrenia patients and population controls. The CNVs do not all affect the same cognitive domains, hence the cognitive deficits that drive or accompany the pathogenesis vary from one CNV to another. Controls carrying the chromosome 15q11.2 deletion between breakpoints 1 and 2 (15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion) have a history of dyslexia and dyscalculia, even after adjusting for IQ in the analysis, and the CNV only confers modest effects on other cognitive traits. The 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects brain structure in a pattern consistent with both that observed during first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia and that of structural correlates in dyslexia.
Dyslexia is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders where likely many genes are involved in the pathogenesis. So far six candidate dyslexia genes have been proposed, and two of these were identified by rare chromosomal translocations in affected individuals. By systematic re-examination of all translocation carriers in Denmark, we have identified 16 different translocations associated with dyslexia. In four families, where the translocation co-segregated with the phenotype, one of the breakpoints concurred (at the cytogenetic level) with either a known dyslexia linkage region--at 15q21 (DYX1), 2p13 (DYX3) and 1p36 (DYX8)--or an unpublished linkage region at 19q13. As a first exploitation of this unique cohort, we identify three novel candidate dyslexia genes, ZNF280D and TCF12 at 15q21, and PDE7B at 6q23.3, by molecular mapping of the familial translocation with the 15q21 breakpoint.
Dyslexia is a common and genetically complex trait that manifests primarily as a reading disability independent of general intelligence and educational opportunity. Strong evidence for a dyslexia susceptibility locus on chromosome 1p34-p36 (near marker D1S199) was recently reported, and an earlier study found suggestive evidence for linkage to the same region. We tested for the presence of a dyslexia gene in this region in a sample of 100 Canadian families using both qualitative and quantitative definitions of the phenotype. Using a qualitative definition of dyslexia (affected, unaffected, or uncertain), the largest multipoint Genehunter Maximum LOD-Score (MLS) in 100 core nuclear families was 3.65 at D1S507, distal to D1S199. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) linkage analysis was performed for four measures of dyslexia (phonological awareness, phonological coding, spelling, and rapid automatized naming speed) employing the variance components approach implemented in Genehunter. Using a model with QTL additive and dominance variance and polygenic additive variance, the multipoint LOD scores maximized proximal to D1S199 (between D1S552 and D1S1622), with peaks of 4.01 for spelling and 1.65 for phonological coding (corresponding LOD scores under 1 degree of freedom were 3.30 and 1.13, respectively). In conclusion, our study confirms and strengthens recent findings of a dyslexia susceptibility gene on chromosome 1p34-p36 (now designated DYX8).
Developmental dyslexia is a neurofunctional disorder characterised by an unexpected difficulty in learning to read and write despite adequate intelligence, motivation, and education. Previous studies have suggested mostly quantitative susceptibility loci for dyslexia on chromosomes 1, 2, 6, and 15, but no genes have been identified yet. We studied a large pedigree, ascertained from 140 families considered, segregating pronounced dyslexia in an autosomal dominant fashion. Affected status and the subtype of dyslexia were determined by neuropsychological tests. A genome scan with 320 markers showed a novel dominant locus linked to dyslexia in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 3 with a multipoint lod score of 3.84. Nineteen out of 21 affected pedigree members shared this region identical by descent (corrected p
From a large Danish material of random families we selected families with dyslexia as reported by the families themselves and as recorded by a dyslexia institute. Among five "backcross families" studied for chromosome 15 polymorphisms we found only negative lod scores, and at theta = 0.10 a negative score of -3.42; i.e., in our material we did not find any confirmation of the indication of linkage between dyslexia and a chromosome 15 polymorphism found in part of their material by Smith et al. (1983, 1986).
It is established that reading and reading-related processes are heritable; genes thus play an important role in the foundation of individual differences in reading. In this article, we focus on one facet of reading-comprehension. Comprehension is a higher order cognitive skill that requires many other cognitive processes for it to unfold completely and successfully. One such process is executive functioning, which has been associated with genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. Genotypes and haplotypes of four single nucleotide polymorphisms in COMT were investigated in 179 incarcerated adolescent delinquents. Four hierarchical logistic regression models predicting the presence/absence of comprehension difficulties were fitted to the data; genetic variation in COMT and the presence/absence of maternal rejection were investigated as main effects and as effects acting interactively. Three out of four interaction terms were found to be important predictors of individual differences in comprehension. These findings were supported by the results of the haplotype analyses, in which the four investigated polymorphisms were considered simultaneously.
Neuropsychological findings of individuals with dyslexia (n=24) from a large, three-generation Finnish family are presented. We have previously performed whole genome linkage scanning in this family and found that dyslexia in this kindred segregates with a single locus in the pericentromeric area of chromosome 3. Those included in the analyses were carefully evaluated for general cognitive ability, reading and spelling skills, and reading-related neurocognitive skills. The neurocognitive type of dyslexia segregating in this family consisted of deficits in phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory, and rapid naming. Severe dyslexia also seemed to be connected with a general language difficulty and was most common in the eldest generation.
Reading disabilities (RD) have a significant genetic basis and have shown linkage to multiple regions including chromosome 15q. Dyslexia susceptibility 1 candidate gene 1 (DYX1C1) on chromosome 15q21 was originally proposed as a candidate gene with two potentially functional polymorphisms at the -3G/A and 1249G/T positions showing association with RD. However, subsequent studies have yielded mixed results. We performed a literature review and meta-analysis of the -3G/A and 1249G/T polymorphisms, including new unpublished data from two family-based samples. Ten markers in DYX1C1 were genotyped in the two independently ascertained samples. Single marker and -3G/A:1249G/T haplotype analyses were performed for RD in both samples, and quantitative trait analyses using standardized reading-related measures was performed in one of the samples. For the meta-analysis, we used a random-effects model to summarize studies that tested for association between -3G/A or 1249G/T and RD. No significant association was found between the DYX1C1 SNPs and RD or any of the reading-related measures tested after correction for the number of tests performed. The previously reported risk haplotype (-3A:1249T) was not biased in transmission. A total of 9 and 10 study samples were included in the meta-analysis of the -3G/A and 1249G/T polymorphisms, respectively. Neither polymorphism reached statistical significance, but the heterogeneity for the 1249G/T polymorphism was high. The results of this study do not provide evidence for association between the putatively functional SNPs -3G/A and 1249G/T and RD.