German researchers say that dyslexia, a learning disability whose sufferers struggle with reading and writing, can occur due to genetic causes.
"We are trying to find out which genes cause the disease. A predisposition to dyslexia could be detected by a genetic test to support affected children appropriately at a very early age," says Arndt Wilcke, scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig.
The researcher says that the migration of nerve cells to their designated positions during brain development at the embryonic stage is routed by specific genes, which, when defective, can be a cause for dyslexia.
Wilcke points out that evidence for responsible "dyslexia genes" is already existing, and the first steps towards a genetic test have been taken.
However, reckons the researcher, at least five more years will be needed to reach that aim.