Behavior Genetics

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 67–76 | Cite as

Pleiotropic Effects of DCDC2 and DYX1C1 Genes on Language and Mathematics Traits in Nuclear Families of Developmental Dyslexia

  • Cecilia MarinoEmail author
  • Sara Mascheretti
  • Valentina Riva
  • Francesca Cattaneo
  • Catia Rigoletto
  • Marianna Rusconi
  • Jeffrey R. Gruen
  • Roberto Giorda
  • Claudio Lazazzera
  • Massimo Molteni


Converging evidence indicates that developmental problems in oral language and mathematics can predate or co-occur with developmental dyslexia (DD). Substantial genetic correlations have been found between language, mathematics and reading traits, independent of the method of sampling. We tested for association of variants of two DD susceptibility genes, DCDC2 and DYX1C1, in nuclear families ascertained through a proband with DD using concurrent measurements of language and mathematics in both probands and siblings by the Quantitative Transmission Disequilibrium Test. Evidence for significant associations was found between DCDC2 and ‘Numerical Facts’ (p value = 0.02, with 85 informative families, genetic effect = 0.57) and between ‘Mental Calculation’ and DYX1C1 markers -3GA (p value = 0.05, with 40 informative families, genetic effect = −0.67) and 1249GT (p value = 0.02, with 49 informative families, genetic effect = −0.65). No statistically significant associations were found between DCDC2 or DYX1C1 and language phenotypes. Both DCDC2 and DYX1C1 DD susceptibility genes appear to have a pleiotropic role on mathematics but not language phenotypes.


Dyslexia Association study Pleiotropy Mathematics Language 



We thank all the parents and children who took part in this study. The collaboration between J.R.G. and C.M. rose during a multidisciplinary summer symposium held in Como, Italy, 2004 convened by ‘The Dyslexia Foundation’ to which we are grateful. Finally, we express our gratitude to Lupo Geronazzo and Alessandra Citterio for helping in data collection. This work was supported by the Italian Ministry of Health. Support for J.R.G was provided by the National Institutes of Health R01 NS43530.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia Marino
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sara Mascheretti
    • 3
  • Valentina Riva
    • 3
  • Francesca Cattaneo
    • 1
  • Catia Rigoletto
    • 1
  • Marianna Rusconi
    • 4
  • Jeffrey R. Gruen
    • 5
  • Roberto Giorda
    • 4
  • Claudio Lazazzera
    • 1
  • Massimo Molteni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child PsychiatryScientific Institute Eugenio MedeaBosisio PariniItaly
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche Université Laval Robert-GiffardQuebecCanada
  3. 3.The Academic Centre for the Study of Behavioural PlasticityVita Salute San Raffaele UniversityMilanItaly
  4. 4.Molecular Biology LaboratoryScientific Institute Eugenio MedeaBosisio PariniItaly
  5. 5.Yale Child Health Research CenterYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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