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Gene Discovered in Childhood Language Disorder Provides Insight into Reading Disorders

Dr. Mabel Rice reading with a young friend
Dr. Mabel Rice reading with a young friend.
Credit: Steve Puppe

The recent discovery of a gene associated with specific language impairment (SLI), a disorder that delays first words in children and slows their mastery of language skills throughout their school years, offers new insight into how our genes affect language development. The gene, KIAA0319, appears to play a key role in SLI, but it also plays a supporting role in other learning disabilities such as dyslexia. The finding, published in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, is the result of a collaborative team effort headed by Mabel Rice, Ph.D., a University of Kansas professor and NIDCD-funded scientist. Read more on the NIDCD Web site, or read the abstract on PubMed.

Last Updated Date: 
June 7, 2010