Subscribe to Newsletter
Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics, Neurology

Does Dyslexia Have a Genotype?

Although dyslexia research is abundant, a nagging question has remained: Is the condition hereditary?

Previous familial studies suggest a strong genetic predisposition, yet few markers have been identified to prove the correlation. To investigate further, an international team of researchers have conducted the largest genome-wide association (GWAS) study of dyslexia to date.

Led by the University of Edinburgh, UK, the study included 1,087,070 controls and 51,800 adults with a dyslexia diagnosis – selected from personal genetics company 23andMe (1). DNA samples were obtained from saliva and analyzed on a genotyping platform by the Nation Genetics Institute. A total of 42 genetic variants were found to be associated with dyslexia; of these, 15 have been previously linked to cognitive ability and educational attainment, but the remaining 27 were newly identified.

Several of the new variants were validated in a genomic study by the GenLang consortium of spelling and reading performance in English and other European languages.

The work also found a positive genetic link between dyslexia and ambidexterity, as well as a “moderate” genetic correlation between dyslexia and ADHD. In the future, researchers hope that the new variants will be prioritized for further investigation to increase our understanding of the biological mechanisms behind dyslexia and expand diagnostic capabilities.

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Pathologist and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. C Doust et al., Nature Genetics, 54, 1621 (2022). PMID: 36266505
About the Author
Georgia Hulme

Associate Editor for the Pathologist

Register to The Pathologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Pathologist magazine