Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

NEURODYS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 18696
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Germany

Is there a genetic link to dyslexia?

A multidisciplinary consortium enhanced understanding of dyslexia at the genetic, environmental and biological levels.
Is there a genetic link to dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common disorder related to reading and spelling. It presents a significant lifelong problem associated with poor school attendance, difficulty in social adjustment and unemployment. Despite the severity of the problem, the aetiology of dyslexia is poorly understood.

The EU-funded initiative 'Dyslexia genes and neurobiological pathways' (Neurodys) brought together scientists from different disciplines to study the nature of dyslexia. They generated the world's largest database with phenotypic and genotypic data of 1,644 children with dyslexia and 1,281 healthy matched controls. This database combined the results of a number of comprehensive cognitive assays, such as spelling, non-word decoding and phonological awareness, with DNA samples from all participants.

The aim was to explore if a specific genetic profile seen in dyslexia patients can be correlated to certain disorder characteristics. Additionally, the genetic links to dyslexia were investigated and the dyslexia susceptibility genes were subsequently used to understand the neurobiological association of the disorder.

Overall, the Neurodys project made considerable advances in the basic knowledge in the field of dyslexia, provided gene-behaviour relationships and previously unidentified genetic factors were discovered. Collectively, this information will serve as the basis for the development of successful diagnostics and therapies.

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