Monday, November 10, 2008
LONDON (Reuters) – A gene linked to autism may also play a role in the most common childhood language disorder, researchers said on Wednesday, perhaps explaining why some children develop language difficulties.
"This is the first time anyone has pinpointed a specific gene that is involved in common forms of language impairments," University of Oxford geneticist and Wellcome Trust researcher Simon Fisher, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
The condition known as specific language impairment affects an estimated 2-7 percent of pre-school children and is as common as dyslexia, Fisher said.
The starting point for the study was a different gene called FOXP2 that regulates other genes and appears to play a role in a severe but rare form of speech and language disorder.
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