The Influence of Dyslexia Candidate Genes on Reading Skill in Old Age

Michelle Luciano*, Alan J. Gow, Alison Pattie, Timothy C. Bates, Ian J. Deary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


A number of candidate genes for reading and language impairment have been replicated, primarily in samples of children with developmental disability or delay, although these genes are also supported in adolescent population samples. The present study used a systematic approach to test 14 of these candidate genes for association with reading assessed in late adulthood (two cohorts with mean ages of 70 and 79 years). Gene-sets (14 candidates, axon-guidance and neuron migration pathways) and individual SNPs within each gene of interest were tested for association using imputed data referenced to the 1000 genomes European panel. Using the results from the genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis of the two cohorts (N = 1217), a competitive gene-set analysis showed that the candidate gene-set was associated with the reading index (p = .016) at a family wise error rate corrected significance level. Neither axon guidance nor neuron migration pathways were significant. Whereas individual SNP associations within CYP19A1, DYX1C1, CNTNAP2 and DIP2A genes (p < .05) did not reach corrected significance their allelic effects were in the same direction as past available reports. These results suggest that reading skill in normal adults shares the same genetic substrate as reading in adolescents, and clinically disordered reading, and highlights the utility of adult samples to increase sample sizes in the genetic study of developmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351–360
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Axon guidance
  • Dyslexia
  • Lothian birth cohort
  • Neuronal migration
  • Reading ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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