New gene discovery offers clues to how infants pick up language

9 February 2011
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Scientists have made a key genetic discovery that could help explain how people learn language. It is believed the gene discovery could help in the understanding of difficulties such as dyslexia.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found a gene - called ROBO1 - linked to the mechanism in the brain that helps infants develop speech.

Sir Jackie Stewart welcomed the research saying,

"As president of Dyslexia Scotland, I welcome this research and the indications that the gene discovery may help increase the understanding of dyslexia - I hope that this will lead in time to increased support for all the children in the UK with dyslexia, estimated at well over one in 10 children.  I personally faced terrible difficulties at school and was unable to complete my secondary education past the age of 16. I wasn't diagnosed as dyslexic until I was in my 40s - when my son’s dyslexia was identified. I believe that an increased understanding of dyslexia and early intervention is crucial."

Click here to read the University of Edinburgh's Press Release