The presence of a gene in four members of a Finnish family with dyslexia has given the first clear clue to its involvement in the disease.
Between 5% and 15% of people have dyslexia and associated problems reading, writing and spelling.
Although scientists suspected that genes were involved, they had not come up with convincing candidates — until now.
Juha Kere of the University of Helsinki in Finland and his team found that one gene is mutated in around 10% of Finnish dyslexics, compared with 2% to 3% in the rest of the population.
The presence of the gene does not necessarily mean dyslexia, but it increases susceptibility.