GENETIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO SPEECH AND LANGUAGE. A COMPLEX DIALOGUE.
Developmental language disorder (DLD) is a common childhood condition which has lifelong consequences for affected children. We have little understanding of the mechanisms underlying the risk of language disorders but it is clear that they are likely to involve complex networks of genetic, neurological and environmental factors which show considerable overlaps with other neurodevelopmental disorders.
In this talk, I will describe our recent investigations of the genetic overlaps between auditory processing disorder and speech and language outcomes. We performed whole genome sequencing of a family affected by a severe auditory processing disorder and characterised the identified genetic effects within a large population cohort. Collaborative studies of mouse models led by the Murine Behavioral Neurogenetics Facility allowed us to hypothesise a new model of the biological pathways involved in auditory processing and language disorders.
Ongoing investigations of these pathways will provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dianne Newbury is a molecular geneticist who studies genetic contributions to childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. Her investigations specifically focus around developmental language disorders and their relationship to other neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as dyslexia. Dianne has a lab at Oxford Brookes University and her research is currently funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the ESRC.