Developmental dyslexia susceptibility genes DNAAF4, DCDC2, and NRSN1 are associated with brain function in fluently reading adolescents and young adults

Nea Rinne*, Patrik Wikman, Elisa Sahari, Juha Salmi, Elisabet Einarsdóttir, Juha Kere, Kimmo Alho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Reading skills and developmental dyslexia, characterized by difficulties in developing reading skills, have been associated with brain anomalies within the language network. Genetic factors contribute to developmental dyslexia risk, but the mechanisms by which these genes influence reading skills remain unclear. In this preregistered study (https://osf.io/7sehx), we explored if developmental dyslexia susceptibility genes DNAAF4, DCDC2, NRSN1, and KIAA0319 are associated with brain function in fluently reading adolescents and young adults. Functional MRI and task performance data were collected during tasks involving written and spoken sentence processing, and DNA sequence variants of developmental dyslexia susceptibility genes previously associated with brain structure anomalies were genotyped. The results revealed that variation in DNAAF4, DCDC2, and NRSN1 is associated with brain activity in key language regions: the left inferior frontal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, and intraparietal sulcus. Furthermore, NRSN1 was associated with task performance, but KIAA0319 did not yield any significant associations. Our findings suggest that individuals with a genetic predisposition to developmental dyslexia may partly employ compensatory neural and behavioral mechanisms to maintain typical task performance. Our study highlights the relevance of these developmental dyslexia susceptibility genes in language-related brain function, even in individuals without developmental dyslexia, providing valuable insights into the genetic factors influencing language processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbhae144
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • developmental dyslexia
  • general population
  • imaging genetics
  • neuroimaging
  • single nucleotide variation

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