Deletion of 16q24.1 supports a role for the ATP2C2 gene in specific language impairment.


A 10-year-old boy presented with a history of significant delay in language acquisition as well as receptive and expressive language impairment that persisted into elementary school. In school, he exhibited difficulty with reading comprehension, telling and understanding narratives, and making inferences. Other aspects of his neurodevelopment were normal, with no history of significant medical concerns. He did not have hearing impairment, oromotor dysfunction, or specific neurologic abnormalities. He did not meet testing criteria for autism. Chromosomal microarray analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction determined that he had a de novo 159-kilobase deletion of chromosome 16q24.1 that included the ATP2C2 gene. ATP2C2 is a known candidate gene for specific language impairment and is postulated to have neurobiological significance in memory-related circuits. Our patient's language deficits were consistent with a global type of specific language impairment impacting language comprehension, formulation, semantics, syntax, and phonology attributed to his de novo chromosome deletion.


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