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Lack of replication for the myosin-18B association with mathematical ability in independent cohorts

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Kerry A Pettigrew, Samuelle F Fajutrao Valles, Kristina Moll, Kate Northstone, Susan Ring, Craig Pennell, Carol Wang, Ruth Leavett, Marianna E Hayiou-Thomas, Paul Thompson, Nuala H Simpson, Simon E Fisher, Andrew J O Whitehouse, Margaret J Snowling, Dianne F Newbury, Silvia Paracchini, SLI Consortium

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Twin studies indicate that dyscalculia (or mathematical disability) is caused partly by a genetic component, which is yet to be understood at the molecular level. Recently, a coding variant (rs133885) in the myosin-18B gene was shown to be associated with mathematical abilities with a specific effect among children with dyslexia. This association represents one of the most significant genetic associations reported to date for mathematical abilities and the only one reaching genome-wide statistical significance. We conducted a replication study in different cohorts to assess the effect of rs133885 maths-related measures. The study was conducted primarily using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), (N = 3819). We tested additional cohorts including the York Cohort, the Specific Language Impairment Consortium (SLIC) cohort and the Raine Cohort, and stratified them for a definition of dyslexia whenever possible. We did not observe any associations between rs133885 in myosin-18B and mathematical abilities among individuals with dyslexia or in the general population. Our results suggest that the myosin-18B variant is unlikely to be a main factor contributing to mathematical abilities.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2015

    Research areas

  • Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Genetic association, Cognitive abilities, Neurodevelopmental disorders, ALSPAC

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