2005-10-30

Health & Intolerance: Dyslexia Gene

Scientists have identified a 'gene' that may cause 'dyslexia' -- a breakthrough that could help bring earlier diagnosis of the condition. The US American team found a mutation in a particular 'gene' that can be 'passed down' through families in a high proportion of people with reading difficulties. The research was welcomed by experts and 'dyslexics' as proof that the condition is caused by subtle differences in the brain rather than a lack of motivation or emotional difficulties in children. For more than 30 years it has been known that 'dyslexia' is 'passed down' through families. Now Mr.Jeffrey Gruen, of 'The Yale Child Health Research Centre', has found compelling evidence of a 'dyslexia gene'. Researchers mapped the 'genotypes' of 153 families affected by reading disabilities. They located the most likely source of this susceptibility as a missing part of the 'DCDC2 gene'. While the function of this 'gene' is unknown, it is similar to 'DCX', a 'gene' that helps guide 'neuron' migration to the brain. Mr.Gruen explained:
'There is compelling evidence to show that reading occurs in compartmental regions of the brain connected by normal reading circuits. 'The theory is that "dyslexics" have disruption of these brain circuits. 'We hypothesise that this "gene", "DCDC2", is important for the normal function of these reading circuits. 'And when they are disrupted by a deletion, the normal reading process across the pathways is inefficient, making reading difficult.'
Presenting the research at a meeting of 'The American Society of Human Genetics' yesterday, 2005-10-28, Mr.Gruen said he was not looking for a 'cure' for 'dyslexia', because 'dyslexics' have many talents that might also be part of their 'genetic make-up'. He said the message of the research was to show that a reading disability was not the fault of the individual -- and to help identify 'dyslexic' children early enough to provide support.
'There is no reason [why] these children cannot be lawyers or doctors -- they all read eventually,' he said. 'It is just a matter of giving them the tools.'
Between four and five per cent of the British population has 'dyslexia', with about two million people affected -- including celebrities such as film director Mr.Guy Ritchie, the clothes model Ms.Jodie Kidd and former Scottish rugby international Mr.Kenny Logan. Mr.Logan said that many 'dyslexics' had suffered prejudice in the past because the condition was not diagnosed.
'When I was at school they did not know about "dyslexia", they just thought you were "thick". 'But nowadays if someone cannot read or write, teachers say you are "dyslexic".'
Mr.Logan welcomed research banishing this myth, even if it meant confirmation that he might pass on the condition to his own two children, because it is now possible to treat 'dyslexia' effectively. He said he had overcome his own 'dyslexia' through techniques which use physical exercises such as juggling to build concentration and ability.
'If one of my children is dyslexic they will deal with it. 'I am not worried about it,' he said.
Professor Mr.George Thomson, an expert in 'dyslexia' at 'The University of Edinburgh', has believed for some time that 'dyslexia' is the result of subtle neurological differences.
'I am interested but not surprised. 'I have long felt that "dyslexia" is caused by subtle dysfunction in the brain that is exacerbated by other factors, not least the continued sense of failure at not being able to read.'
Mr.Thomson said the research would not only increase understanding, but would help end prejudice against 'dyslexics'.
'More evidence that there are factors in the individual that predispose towards "dyslexia" is a step forward in our understanding of the condition, rather than passing it off as a fashionable middle-class phenomenon,' he said. 'Looking for a cure is less productive than looking at ways of helping the individual to circumvent the problem.'
'Discovery of dyslexia gene offers hope of early support for sufferers ', Louise Gray, The Scotsman, 2005-10-29, Sa

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a recent TV expose on dyslexia that explained very clearly that dyslexia is a brain condition (similar in a way to colour-blindness), and as such it has nothing to do with cleverness.

The programme also showed brain scans before and after a specifically developed teaching technique that 'cured' the dyslexia by centralising the brain activity in a more common way.

The programme called on the government to stop wasting money giving laptops to kids, and supporting the 'dyslexia' myth, and instead channelling the money into providing effective teaching methods instead.

One of the biggest myths is that a child with poor reading skills and a poor IQ is written-off as daft, while a child with equally poor reading skills but an high IQ is declared as dyslexic and given a laptop!

10/31/2005 12:24:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a laod of nenosnse in my onipion. Chderiln sluohd not get lptpoas.

10/31/2005 01:16:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog about also directory infertility link linkpartners.com please suggest and wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I also have a web site about also directory infertility link linkpartners.com please suggest so I know what I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here! If you get a chance, please stop by also directory infertility link linkpartners.com please suggest

11/01/2005 02:35:00 am  
Blogger Editor said...

Wow that´s a great blog that you have there, mine is slightly differnent but it basically covers the same topics.

I have a throat cancer site. It pretty much covers Cancer related stuff.

Check it out, you won´t regret it... Cheers.. Roger From Http://www.havecancer.com

11/01/2005 06:57:00 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home