A genome scan in multigenerational families with dyslexia: Identification of a novel locus on chromosome 2q that contributes to phonological decoding efficiency

Mol Psychiatry. 2005 Jul;10(7):699-711. doi: 10.1038/sj.mp.4001657.


Dyslexia is a common and complex developmental disorder manifested by unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Multiple different measures are used for diagnosis, and may reflect different biological pathways related to the disorder. Impaired phonological decoding (translation of written words without meaning cues into spoken words) is thought to be a core deficit. We present a genome scan of two continuous measures of phonological decoding ability: phonemic decoding efficiency (PDE) and word attack (WA). PDE measures both accuracy and speed of phonological decoding, whereas WA measures accuracy alone. Multipoint variance component linkage analyses (VC) and Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) multipoint joint linkage and segregation analyses were performed on 108 families. A strong signal was observed on chromosome 2 for PDE using both VC (LOD=2.65) and MCMC methods (intensity ratio (IR)=32.1). The IR is an estimate of the ratio of the posterior to prior probability of linkage in MCMC analysis. The chromosome 2 signal was not seen for WA. More detailed mapping with additional markers provided statistically significant evidence for linkage of PDE to chromosome 2, with VC-LOD=3.0 and IR=59.6 at D2S1399. Parametric analyses of PDE, using a model obtained by complex segregation analysis, provided a multipoint maximum LOD=2.89. The consistency of results from three analytic approaches provides strong evidence for a locus on chromosome 2 that influences speed but not accuracy of phonological decoding.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Articulation Disorders / genetics
  • Child
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 2 / genetics*
  • DNA / analysis
  • Dyslexia / genetics*
  • Family Health
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Lod Score
  • Markov Chains
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics


  • DNA