Insights into dyslexia genetics research from the last two decades

Florina Erbeli, Marianne Rice, Silvia Paracchini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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Dyslexia, a specific reading disability, is a common (up to 10% of children) and highly heritable (~70%) neurodevelopmental disorder. Behavioral and molecular genetic approaches are aimed towards dissecting its significant genetic component. In the proposed review, we will summarize advances in twin and molecular genetic research from the past 20 years. First, we will briefly outline the clinical and educational presentation and epidemiology of dyslexia. Next, we will summarize results from twin studies, followed by molecular genetic research (e.g., genome-wide association studies (GWASs)). In particular, we will highlight converging key insights from genetic research. (1) Dyslexia is a highly polygenic neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex genetic architecture. (2) Dyslexia categories share a large proportion of genetics with continuously distributed measures of reading skills, with shared genetic risks also seen across development. (3) Dyslexia genetic risks are shared with those implicated in many other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., developmental language disorder and dyscalculia). Finally, we will discuss the implications and future directions. As the diversity of genetic studies continues to increase through international collaborate efforts, we will highlight the challenges in advances of genetics discoveries in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2021


  • Dyslexia
  • Genetics
  • Twin studies
  • Molecular genetic studies


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