Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by lower reading, writing, spelling ability in persons of normal intelligence. Up to six million Britons are believed to have dyslexia - 4% of the population is severely dyslexic and a further 6% have limited problems.

In their research, the scientists studied 153 families with members who had dyslexia. By comparing specific DNA markers they found that large number of people with dyslexia was missing a large portion of genetic material in the DCDC2 gene. The gene is located on chromosome six and it is believed to cause as many as 20% of dyslexia cases.

In the mutant form, DCDC2 leads to a disruption in the formation of brain circuits that make it possible to read. Other genes have already been found to be involved in dyslexia and some are still to be discovered.

This finding could lead to earlier diagnosis of dyslexia. Earlier diagnosis could lead to earlier implementation of educational programs for dyslexic children and that way more dyslexic children would be able to acquire the skills required to reach their full potential.