Environmental and genetic variables related with alterations in language acquisition in early childhood

A. Moriano-Gutiérrez, J. Colomer-Revuelta, J. Sanjuán, J.M. Carot-Sierra [REV NEUROL 2017;64:31-37] PMID: 28000910 DOI: OPEN ACCESS
Volumen 64 | Number 01 | Nº of views of the article 16.615 | Nº of PDF downloads 2.041 | Article publication date 01/01/2017
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ABSTRACT Artículo en español English version
INTRODUCTION A great deal of research has addressed problems in the correct acquisition of language, but with few overall conclusions. The reasons for this lie in the individual variability, the existence of different measures for assessing language and the fact that a complex network of genetic and environmental factors are involved in its development.

AIM To review the environmental and genetic variables that have been studied to date, in order to gain a better under­standing of the causes of specific language impairment and create new evidence that can help in the development of screening systems for the early detection of these disorders. DEVELOPMENT. The environmental variables related with poorer early child language development include male gender, low level of education of the mother, familial history of problems with language or psychiatric problems, perinatal problems and health problems in early childhood. Bilingualism seems to be a protective factor. Temperament and language are related. Within the genetic factors there are several specific genes associated with language, two of which have a greater influence on its physiological acquisition: FOXP2 and CNTNAP2. The other genes that are most related with specific language disorders are ATP2C2, CMIP, ROBO2, ZNF277 and NOP9.

CONCLUSIONS The key to comprehending the development of specific language disorders lies in reaching an understanding of the true role played by genes in the ontogenesis, in the regulation of the different developmental processes, and how this role is modulated by the environment.
KeywordsDelayed speechEarly childhood developmentGeneticsLanguage acquisitionLanguage disorderTemperament
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