Italian genetic dyslexia breakthrough for early diagnosis
28 Maggio 2015
(ANSA) - Rome, May 28 - Thanks to a genetic marker, an
Italian study is expected to allow speedy diagnosis of a form of
dyslexia caused by alteration in the DCDC2 gene, which disturbs
vision, researchers said Wednesday.
The study was carried out by Guido Marco Cicchini of the
Institute of neurosciences of the National Research Council
(In-Cnr) in Pisa and Maria Concetta Morrone of the University of
Pisa in collaboration with Daniela Perani of the Health-Life
University San Raffaele of Milan and Sara Mascheretti of Ircss
"Until today dyslexia was diagnosed only when noticed a
learning delay and other causes are excluded," said Cicchini,
"this slows things down any form of intervention a lot,
sometimes for years."
"To discover a genetic and physiological marker changes
radically the perspective - in future diagnosing this kind of
dyslexia could be much simpler and earlier".
The Dcdc2 is part of a restricted family of genes linked to
dyslexia. It already is known that 20% of dyslexics have an
alteration in Dcdc2, but the role of the gene until now remained
In the research that appeared in the Journal of
Neuroscience, the authors examined a group of dyslexics with an
alteration in the gene, showing that they are blind to some
visual stimuli which normally are more visible for normal
"These dyslexic people see correctly the form or orientation
of an object, but if forced to indicate the direction in which
certain stimulants move they choose randomly," said Morrone.
"Luckily this deficit is present only for some types of
stimulus and therefore the impact on daily life is limited, but
in some cases it may not be like that -- for example the
direction of a pedestrian or a bicycle may not be perceived".
"We are faced with a particular sub-type of dyslexia that
it would be desirable to recognise and treat in a specific
manner in the first years of life and the genetic can help to
select it at a very young age, when rehabilitating therapies are