Genetics of Dyscalculia 1: In Search of Genes

  • Maria Raquel S. CarvalhoEmail author
  • Vitor Geraldi Haase


In this chapter, we review the genetic foundations of developmental dyscalculia. We begin by briefly reviewing the clinical epidemiology of dyscalculia. Next, we review evidence for genetic susceptibility from familial aggregation and heritability estimates. Evidence for genetic susceptibility is substantial but associated with some limitations. Familial aggregation studies do not distinguish genetic from environmental influences. As heritability does not identify specific genes, it applies only at the population, not at the individual level. Current molecular genetic methods are helping to identify specific genes implicated in dyscalculia. We discuss evidence from genome-wide association studies on dyscalculia and on its comorbidities, mainly dyslexia, autism, and specific language impairment. The number of such studies is small but growing. So far, some candidate genes have been identified, but none of them has yet been confirmed in independent studies. Developmental dyscalculia is a heterogeneous phenotype. Future advances depend, among other things, on improvements in phenotype characterization and identification of families with clear phenotypic segregation.


Dyscalculia Gene GWAS Heritability Familial aggregation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Raquel S. Carvalho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vitor Geraldi Haase
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia GeralInstituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de PsicologiaFaculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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