For several years child and youth psychologists at the universities of Marburg and Wrzburg searched for families in which at least one child was considered dyslexic. "We then analysed blood samples taken from the families to identify candidate genes and in the end we found the right one," explains the scientist who headed this part of the study from Marburg, Privatdozent Dr. Gerd Schulte-Krne.
The gene is located in the region of Chromosome 6, which had already been indicated by scientists from the USA and England in connection with reading and spelling disabilities. But the German-Swedish team has gone further and identified within this region a single gene which, as found among German children, is apparently an important factor in the emergence of dyslexia. "Known as the DCDC2 gene, it appears to affect the migration of nerve cells in the developing brain," says Professor Dr. Markus Nthen from the Life and Brain Centre at Bonn University. Professor Nthen
Contact: Prof. Dr. Markus Nthen
University of Bonn