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

K. A. Pettigrew, S. F. Fajutrao Valles, K. Moll, K. Northstone, S. Ring, C. Pennell, C. Wang, R. Leavett, M. E. Hayiou-Thomas, P. Thompson, N. H. Simpson, S. E. Fisher, D. F. Newbury, R. Nudel, A. P. Monaco, S. E. Fisher, C. Francks, G. Baird, V. Slonims, K. DworzynskiP. F. Bolton, E. Simonoff, A. O'Hare, J. Seckl, H. Cowie, A. Clark, J. Watson, J. Nasir, W. Cohen, A. Everitt, E. R. Hennessy, D. Shaw, P. J. Helms, Z. Simkin, G. Conti, D. Ramsden, D. V M Bishop, A. Pickles, A. J O Whitehouse, M. J. Snowling, S. Paracchini*, SLI Consortium The SLI Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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. We could not replicate the association of the myosin-18B gene with mathematical ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalGenes brain and behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Cognitive abilities
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Genetic association
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders

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