Functional investigation of the PCSK6 genetic variants associated with laterality: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders

University of St Andrews

Past award

Student: Rebecca Hughes : University of St Andrews

Year Award Started: 2014

Dyslexia is a specific impairment in reading ability, affecting 10% school-children. It has a strong genetic component, still largely unknown. For a long time a link between handedness and dyslexia has been proposed. Recently, we have identified the first gene (PCSK6) to be robustly associated with handedness, specifically in children with dyslexia. PCSK6 is known to control left-right body asymmetries. It has been shown that dyslexia candidate genes are implicated in related pathways. We will study the functional mechanisms underlying the PCSK6 association to further understand the biology of handedness and dyslexia. The results may have important implications for dyslexia diagnosis and intervention.

Research area: Neurological conditions (including stroke)


Dr Silvia Paracchini
School of Medicine