Food and Behaviour Research

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Increased levels of cytosolic phospholipase A2 in dyslexics.

MacDonell LE, Skinner FK, Ward PE, Glen AI, Glen AC, Macdonald DJ, Boyle RM, Horrobin DF. (2000) Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 63(1-2) 37-9 

Web URL: View this abstract via PubMed here


Research findings are increasingly reporting evidence of physiological abnormalities in dyslexia and sites for dyslexia have been identified on three chromosomes. It has been suggested that genetic inheritance may cause phospholipid abnormalities in dyslexia somewhat similar to those found in schizophrenia. A key enzyme in phospholipid metabolism, Type IV, or cytosolic, phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), releases arachidonic acid (AA), a 20-carbon fatty acid, which is the major source of production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

An entirely new assay, which for the first time has enabled determination of the amount of the enzyme rather than its activity, was used to measure cPLA2 in dyslexic-type adults and controls and the two groups were found to differ significantly, the dyslexic-types having more of the enzyme.

A report elsewhere of schizophrenics having even greater amounts of the enzyme suggests that dyslexia may be on a continuum with schizophrenia, as may be other neurodevelopmental disorders - which have also been described as phospholipid spectrum disorders.