British researchers call dyslexia hereditary

Copyright © 1998
Copyright © 1998 Reuters News Service

LONDON (February 21, 1998 6:06 p.m. EST - Two
Oxford University scientists say they have found that dyslexia is an
inherited condition.

Professor John Stein and Professor Tony Monaco of the Wellcome
Trust Center for Human Genetics told the Observer newspaper they
found three common genes associated with dyslexia in blood samples
from 90 families.

"This discovery proves once and for all that dyslexia is hereditary,"
Stein told the Observer, published on Sunday.

He said research was carried out by studying DNA samples in blood
supplies from 90 families in which a parent and a child suffered from
chronic difficulties with reading and spelling, despite high levels of

The researchers found that the section of chromosome linked to
dyslexic problems is close to the genes that control immunity,
suggesting that sufferers may be susceptible to attacks from

[Is this an admission of a non-herditary component, ie., antibodies to a
specific antigen that would come from the environment and is thus not

Stein said he hoped his research would help to lift the stigma suffered
by dyslexic people and help establish early tests for problems.

Between five and 10 percent of children in Britain have problems with
reading and writing attributed to dyslexia, although some scientists
and psychologists believe the condition exists mostly in the minds of
middle-class parents.