Recent studies reveal that there is a link between reading ability, brain asymmetry, and the hand a person prefers to write with. Researchers found this after studying the genomes of 192 children who had difficulty with reading. This means there is a genetic reason why some children are dyslexic. It also reveals interesting things about what hand they write with, and how well they do it.
There is a gene that is being called the PCSK6 gene. This gene has something to do with “handedness”.
You do not have to have a mutated gene in order to be right handed. The majority of people are right handed. However, there is something significant about people who are right handed who also have a mutation, or variation, on their PCSK6 gene. These people, it turns out, are exceptionally skilled in the use of their right hand.
Now, since most people are right handed, it is no surprise that most children who have dyslexia also happen to be right handed. The interesting thing about this study is that a large number of the children in the study who were dyslexic and right handed, and had the genetic mutation on their PCSK6 gene, were especially skilled in the use of their right hands (compared to their left hands).
Keep in mind that the left side of the human brain controls the right side of the human body. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. The left side of the brain is the part that is involved with language skills. There have been theories in the past that suggested that there was a connection between what a person’s dominant hand happened to be, and that person’s likelihood of having a language disorder, or learning disability that involves language. This study uncovers the genetic link between “handedness” and learning disabilities like dyslexia.
As a person who is dyslexic, I find this fascinating! I am also a former teacher, and I cannot help but wonder what new teaching techniques will be created to help children who have dyslexia to learn to read. Somehow, it is reassuring that there is a genetic reason why those of us with dyslexia process things so differently from the rest of the population.< Return To Blog