The authors reviewed recent quantitative genetic research on learning disabilities that led to the conclusion that genetic diagnoses differ from traditional diagnoses in that the effects of relevant genes are largely general rather than specific. This research suggests that most genes associated with common learning disabilities--language impairment, reading disability, and mathematics disability--are generalists in 3 ways. First, genes that affect common learning disabilities are largely the same genes responsible for normal variation in learning abilities. Second, genes that affect any aspect of a learning disability affect other aspects of the disability. Third, genes that affect one learning disability are also likely to affect other learning disabilities. These quantitative genetic findings have far-reaching implications for molecular genetics and neuroscience as well as psychology.
Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.