Kids with cleft lips unlikely to be genetically inclined to do poor at school
New research has found that children born with a cleft lip, either with or without a cleft palate, are not likely to be genetically predisposed to do less well at school than their peers. The study by the Cleft Collective research team at the University of Bristol is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Worldwide, around one in every 700 babies is born with a cleft lip, which is a gap in the upper lip. Some previous studies have shown that children born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate (a gap in the roof of the mouth) do less well in school, even if they don't have any other conditions or known genetic syndromes.
It has been suggested that these observed differences could be due to a genetic predisposition to lower intelligence caused by undiagnosed differences in brain structure or function. The new study by the Cleft Collective team indicates that this is unlikely to be the case for children born with a cleft lip. The team compared information about the genetics of cleft lip to information about the genetics of educational attainment and intelligence using an approach pioneered at Bristol known as Mendelian randomization and another genetic approach known as 'linkage disequilibrium score regression'. They found very little evidence to suggest that the genetic influences on cleft lip are related to low educational attainment or intelligence. The findings could have an important impact on family counselling and coping strategies, and on how the public perceives people born with a cleft lip.
(Content Courtesy: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-05/uob-cbw050520.php)