Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a multifactorial, specific learning disorder. Susceptibility genes have been identified, but there is growing evidence that environmental factors, and especially stress, may act as triggering factors that determine an individual’s risk of developing DD. In DD, as in most complex phenotypes, the presence of a genetic mutation fails to explain the broad phenotypic spectrum observed. Early life stress has been repeatedly associated with the risk of multifactorial disorders, due to its effects on chromatin regulation, gene expression, HPA axis function and its long-term effects on the systemic stress response. Based on recent evidence, we discuss the potential role of stress on DD occurrence, its putative epigenetic effects on the HPA axis of affected individuals, as well as the necessity of early and appropriate intervention, based on the individual stress-associated (endo)phenotype.
Theodoridou, D., Christodoulides, P., Zakopoulou, V., & Syrrou, M. (2021). Developmental Dyslexia: Environment Matters. Brain Sciences, 11(6), 782. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11060782