[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Six independent studies have identified linkage to chromosome 18 for developmental dyslexia or general reading ability. Until now, no candidate genes have been identified to explain this linkage. Here, we set out to identify the gene(s) conferring susceptibility by a two stage strategy of linkage and association analysis.
Linkage analysis: 264 UK families and 155 US families each containing at least one child diagnosed with dyslexia were genotyped with a dense set of microsatellite markers on chromosome 18. Association analysis: Using a discovery sample of 187 UK families, nearly 3000 SNPs were genotyped across the chromosome 18 dyslexia susceptibility candidate region. Following association analysis, the top ranking SNPs were then genotyped in the remaining samples. The linkage analysis revealed a broad signal that spans approximately 40 Mb from 18p11.2 to 18q12.2. Following the association analysis and subsequent replication attempts, we observed consistent association with the same SNPs in three genes; melanocortin 5 receptor (MC5R), dymeclin (DYM) and neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4-like (NEDD4L).
Along with already published biological evidence, MC5R, DYM and NEDD4L make attractive candidates for dyslexia susceptibility genes. However, further replication and functional studies are still required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence developmental dyslexia (reading disability [RD]) have been mapped to chromosome regions by linkage analysis. The most consistently replicated area of linkage is on chromosome 6p23-21.3. We used association analysis in 223 siblings from the United Kingdom to identify an underlying QTL on 6p22.2. Our association study implicates a 77-kb region spanning the gene TTRAP and the first four exons of the neighboring uncharacterized gene KIAA0319. The region of association is also directly upstream of a third gene, THEM2. We found evidence of these associations in a second sample of siblings from the United Kingdom, as well as in an independent sample of twin-based sibships from Colorado. One main RD risk haplotype that has a frequency of approximately 12% was found in both the U.K. and U.S. samples. The haplotype is not distinguished by any protein-coding polymorphisms, and, therefore, the functional variation may relate to gene expression. The QTL influences a broad range of reading-related cognitive abilities but has no significant impact on general cognitive performance in these samples. In addition, the QTL effect may be largely limited to the severe range of reading disability.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading disability (RD) are common highly heritable disorders of childhood, which frequently co-occur. Data from twin and family studies suggest that this overlap is, in part, due to shared genetic underpinnings. Here, we report the first genome-wide linkage analysis of measures of reading ability in children with ADHD, using a sample of 233 affected sibling pairs who previously participated in a genome-wide scan for susceptibility loci in ADHD. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of a composite reading factor defined from three highly correlated reading measures identified suggestive linkage (multipoint maximum lod score, MLS>2.2) in four chromosomal regions. Two regions (16p, 17q) overlap those implicated by our previous genome-wide scan for ADHD in the same sample: one region (2p) provides replication for an RD susceptibility locus, and one region (10q) falls approximately 35 cM from a modestly highlighted region in an independent genome-wide scan of siblings with ADHD. Investigation of an individual reading measure of Reading Recognition supported linkage to putative RD susceptibility regions on chromosome 8p (MLS=2.4) and 15q (MLS=1.38). Thus, the data support the existence of genetic factors that have pleiotropic effects on ADHD and reading ability--as suggested by shared linkages on 16p, 17q and possibly 10q--but also those that appear to be unique to reading--as indicated by linkages on 2p, 8p and 15q that coincide with those previously found in studies of RD. Our study also suggests that reading measures may represent useful phenotypes in ADHD research. The eventual identification of genes underlying these unique and shared linkages may increase our understanding of ADHD, RD and the relationship between the two.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2004 · Molecular Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent research has provided evidence for a genetically mediated association between language or reading-related cognitive deficits and impaired motor coordination. Other studies have identified relationships between lateralization of hand skill and cognitive abilities. With a large sample, the authors aimed to investigate genetic relationships between measures of reading-related cognition, hand motor skill, and hand skill lateralization.
The authors applied univariate and bivariate correlation and familiality analyses to a range of measures. They also performed genomewide linkage analysis of hand motor skill in a subgroup of 195 sibling pairs.
Hand motor skill was significantly familial (maximum heritability=41%), as were reading-related measures. Hand motor skill was weakly but significantly correlated with reading-related measures, such as nonword reading and irregular word reading. However, these correlations were not significantly familial in nature, and the authors did not observe linkage of hand motor skill to any chromosomal regions implicated in susceptibility to dyslexia. Lateralization of hand skill was not correlated with reading or cognitive ability.
The authors confirmed a relationship between lower motor ability and poor reading performance. However, the genetic effects on motor skill and reading ability appeared to be largely or wholly distinct, suggesting that the correlation between these traits may have arisen from environmental influences. Finally, the authors found no evidence that reading disability and/or low general cognitive ability were associated with ambidexterity.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2003 · American Journal of Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD [MIM 143465]) is a common, highly heritable neurobehavioral disorder of childhood onset, characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention. As part of an ongoing study of the genetic etiology of ADHD, we have performed a genomewide linkage scan in 204 nuclear families comprising 853 individuals and 270 affected sibling pairs (ASPs). Previously, we reported genomewide linkage analysis of a "first wave" of these families composed of 126 ASPs. A follow-up investigation of one region on 16p yielded significant linkage in an extended sample. The current study extends the original sample of 126 ASPs to 270 ASPs and provides linkage analyses of the entire sample, using polymorphic microsatellite markers that define an approximately 10-cM map across the genome. Maximum LOD score (MLS) analysis identified suggestive linkage for 17p11 (MLS=2.98) and four nominal regions with MLS values >1.0, including 5p13, 6q14, 11q25, and 20q13. These data, taken together with the fine mapping on 16p13, suggest two regions as highly likely to harbor risk genes for ADHD: 16p13 and 17p11. Interestingly, both regions, as well as 5p13, have been highlighted in genomewide scans for autism.
Full-text · Article · May 2003 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Replication of linkage results for complex traits has been exceedingly difficult, owing in part to the inability to measure the precise underlying phenotype, small sample sizes, genetic heterogeneity, and statistical methods employed in analysis. Often, in any particular study, multiple correlated traits have been collected, yet these have been analyzed independently or, at most, in bivariate analyses. Theoretical arguments suggest that full multivariate analysis of all available traits should offer more power to detect linkage; however, this has not yet been evaluated on a genomewide scale. Here, we conduct multivariate genomewide analyses of quantitative-trait loci that influence reading- and language-related measures in families affected with developmental dyslexia. The results of these analyses are substantially clearer than those of previous univariate analyses of the same data set, helping to resolve a number of key issues. These outcomes highlight the relevance of multivariate analysis for complex disorders for dissection of linkage results in correlated traits. The approach employed here may aid positional cloning of susceptibility genes in a wide spectrum of complex traits.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2003 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia, a disorder of reading and spelling, is a heterogeneous neurological syndrome with a complex genetic and environmental aetiology. People with dyslexia differ in their individual profiles across a range of cognitive, physiological, and behavioural measures related to reading disability. Some or all of the subtypes of dyslexia might have partly or wholly distinct genetic causes. An understanding of the role of genetics in dyslexia could help to diagnose and treat susceptible children more effectively and rapidly than is currently possible and in ways that account for their individual disabilities. This knowledge will also give new insights into the neurobiology of reading and language cognition. Genetic linkage analysis has identified regions of the genome that might harbour inherited variants that cause reading disability. In particular, loci on chromosomes 6 and 18 have shown strong and replicable effects on reading abilities. These genomic regions contain tens or hundreds of candidate genes, and studies aimed at the identification of the specific causal genetic variants are underway.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2003 · The Lancet Neurology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in childhood and likely represents an extreme of normal behavior. ADHD significantly impacts learning in school-age children and leads to impaired functioning throughout the life span. There is strong evidence for a genetic etiology of the disorder, although putative alleles, principally in dopamine-related pathways suggested by candidate-gene studies, have very small effect sizes. We use affected-sib-pair analysis in 203 families to localize the first major susceptibility locus for ADHD to a 12-cM region on chromosome 16p13 (maximum LOD score 4.2; P=.000005), building upon an earlier genomewide scan of this disorder. The region overlaps that highlighted in three genome scans for autism, a disorder in which inattention and hyperactivity are common, and physically maps to a 7-Mb region on 16p13. These findings suggest that variations in a gene on 16p13 may contribute to common deficits found in both ADHD and autism.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2002 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common heritable disorder with a childhood onset. Molecular genetic studies of ADHD have previously focused on examining the roles of specific candidate genes, primarily those involved in dopaminergic pathways. We have performed the first systematic genomewide linkage scan for loci influencing ADHD in 126 affected sib pairs, using a approximately 10-cM grid of microsatellite markers. Allele-sharing linkage methods enabled us to exclude any loci with a lambda(s) of > or =3 from 96% of the genome and those with a lambda(s) of > or =2.5 from 91%, indicating that there is unlikely to be a major gene involved in ADHD susceptibility in our sample. Under a strict diagnostic scheme we could exclude all screened regions of the X chromosome for a locus-specific lambda(s) of >/=2 in brother-brother pairs, demonstrating that the excess of affected males with ADHD is probably not attributable to a major X-linked effect. Qualitative trait maximum LOD score analyses pointed to a number of chromosomal sites that may contain genetic risk factors of moderate effect. None exceeded genomewide significance thresholds, but LOD scores were >1.5 for regions on 5p12, 10q26, 12q23, and 16p13. Quantitative-trait analysis of ADHD symptom counts implicated a region on 12p13 (maximum LOD 2.6) that also yielded a LOD >1 when qualitative methods were used. A survey of regions containing 36 genes that have been proposed as candidates for ADHD indicated that 29 of these genes, including DRD4 and DAT1, could be excluded for a lambda(s) of 2. Only three of the candidates-DRD5, 5HTT, and CALCYON-coincided with sites of positive linkage identified by our screen. Two of the regions highlighted in the present study, 2q24 and 16p13, coincided with the top linkage peaks reported by a recent genome-scan study of autistic sib pairs.
Full-text · Article · May 2002 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomewide quantitative-trait locus (QTL) linkage analysis was performed using a continuous measure of relative hand skill (PegQ) in a sample of 195 reading-disabled sibling pairs from the United Kingdom. This was the first genomewide screen for any measure related to handedness. The mean PegQ in the sample was equivalent to that of normative data, and PegQ was not correlated with tests of reading ability (correlations between minus sign0.13 and 0.05). Relative hand skill could therefore be considered normal within the sample. A QTL on chromosome 2p11.2-12 yielded strong evidence for linkage to PegQ (empirical P=.00007), and another suggestive QTL on 17p11-q23 was also identified (empirical P=.002). The 2p11.2-12 locus was further analyzed in an independent sample of 143 reading-disabled sibling pairs, and this analysis yielded an empirical P=.13. Relative hand skill therefore is probably a complex multifactorial phenotype with a heterogeneous background, but nevertheless is amenable to QTL-based gene-mapping approaches.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2002 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developmental dyslexia is defined as a specific and significant impairment in reading ability that cannot be explained by deficits in intelligence, learning opportunity, motivation or sensory acuity. It is one of the most frequently diagnosed disorders in childhood, representing a major educational and social problem. It is well established that dyslexia is a significantly heritable trait with a neurobiological basis. The etiological mechanisms remain elusive, however, despite being the focus of intensive multidisciplinary research. All attempts to map quantitative-trait loci (QTLs) influencing dyslexia susceptibility have targeted specific chromosomal regions, so that inferences regarding genetic etiology have been made on the basis of very limited information. Here we present the first two complete QTL-based genome-wide scans for this trait, in large samples of families from the United Kingdom and United States. Using single-point analysis, linkage to marker D18S53 was independently identified as being one of the most significant results of the genome in each scan (P< or =0.0004 for single word-reading ability in each family sample). Multipoint analysis gave increased evidence of 18p11.2 linkage for single-word reading, yielding top empirical P values of 0.00001 (UK) and 0.0004 (US). Measures related to phonological and orthographic processing also showed linkage at this locus. We replicated linkage to 18p11.2 in a third independent sample of families (from the UK), in which the strongest evidence came from a phoneme-awareness measure (most significant P value=0.00004). A combined analysis of all UK families confirmed that this newly discovered 18p QTL is probably a general risk factor for dyslexia, influencing several reading-related processes. This is the first report of QTL-based genome-wide scanning for a human cognitive trait.