A risk gene for dyslexia is associated with impairments in visual motion detection, according to a study published May 27 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Mutations in the gene DCDC2 have previously been associated with dyslexia, and this study found that dyslexics with an altered copy of the gene are unable to detect certain types of visual motion.
- The researchers used a series of visual tests to compare typical readers with two groups of dyslexics -- one with and one without a specific deletion in the DCDC2 gene.
"This is the first paper I am aware of demonstrating a genetic marker that distinguishes between dyslexics with deficits in motion perception and those without," says Joseph LoTurco, a neuroscientist at the University of Connecticut who studies brain development and was not involved in the study. "It could be extremely valuable in future studies designed to discover optimal intervention strategies, and in early detection for children at risk for dyslexia."