A prospective genetic marker of the visual-perception disorder Meares-Irlen syndrome

Percept Mot Skills. 2012 Jun;114(3):870-82. doi: 10.2466/


Prior investigations of scotopic sensitivity or Meares-Irlen syndrome have identified several features also found in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a subtype of dyslexia in which visual recognition is the primary deficit. In particular, anomalies in lipid metabolism, including low essential fatty acid status and decreased serum cholesterol, have been identified in all three disorders. Genetic expression of the transportermolecule apolipoprotein B-100 (APOB) has been correlated with abnormal lipid metabolism, particularly in relation to levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol esters are important carriers of essential fatty acids entering the retina. The APOB gene coding for apolipoprotein B-100 is located on the short arm of Chromosome 2, and closely neighbours a gene (DYX3) known to confer susceptibility to dyslexia. The APOB locus is also recognised as being one of the most highly polymorphic regions of the human genome, and thus provides a promising tool for genetic researchers. In this pilot study, certain allelic variants of the APOB gene were more common in participants diagnosed with Meares-Irlen syndrome than in individuals without the condition. This study appears to be a first in which a condition known to cause reading difficulties has been associated with the APOB gene.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / genetics*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics
  • Australia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholesterol, LDL / deficiency
  • Dyslexia / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minisatellite Repeats
  • Perceptual Disorders / genetics*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Vision Disorders / genetics*


  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Genetic Markers