Genetics May Influence Link Between Behavioral, Learning Disorders

Genetics may directly affect learning and behavioral disorders

Little had been known as to the reason how specific childhood disorders are linked. It is known that frequently, when a child suffers from reading disability (RD), symptoms of ADHD are also apparent. A recent study made a significant suggestion that man genetic similarities between the disorders may be responsible for the correlation. These influences may cause slower brain processing or longer duration for receiving information.

Researchers analyzed 457 pairs of twins to try to find a link between behavioral and learning disorders.

Comparing groups of participants, the researchers used a range of tests to determine reading skill, cognitive ability, and mental processing speed to help determine whether or not genetics play a role in the link between the disorders.

The researchers were able to make a distinction between the genetic and environmental effects on the participants’ cognitive abilities.

The study, which was reported in the latest special issue of Cortex, substantiated that though both reading disability and ADHD are influenced by many factors on their own, both disorders are still linked to slower brain processing.

Furthermore, this study helped shed light on the genetic correlation between ADHD and RD as evidenced by one of the participants having one of the disorders was more probably to present the symptoms of the other.

Though the exact reasons for the correlation between the two disorders is yet to be known, the researchers propose that the study can be used for future research on the link between behavior and learning disabilities.