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

Pettigrew, K. A., Fajutrao Valles, S. F., Moll, K., Northstone, K., Ring, S., Pennell, C., Wang, C., Leavett, R., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Thompson, P., Simpson, N. H., Fisher, S. E., The SLI Consortium, Whitehouse, A. J., Snowling, M. J., Newbury, D. F., & Paracchini, S. (2015). Lack of replication for the myosin-18B association with mathematical ability in independent cohorts. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 14(4), 369-376. doi:10.1111/gbb.12213.
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.
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