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Name: Belina M.
Status: Student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: February 2003


Question:
What is the genetics of stuttering? I was told that a person who severely stutters is probably homozygous for stuttering (carrying two copies of the recessive gene), while a person who stutters mildly is heterozygous for that trait (carrying one recessive stuttering gene and one "normal" copy of the gene). Can you please elaborate on the genetics of stuttering as there is NOTHING to be found in your archives or via a google search.



Replies:
I have never heard of any confirmed genetic component for stuttering other than some twin studies that show some increase in stuttering among twins that indicates a genetic role. I find it very unlikely that something as complex as this could be a single allele. Eye color is at least two alleles and is an oversimplification as taught in most classrooms as a simple dominant recessive between brown and blue...what explains green and the various shades of blue and brown. I do not see how a behavior this complex could be simpler than eye color. I do not doubt that genetics plays some sort of role...it does in almost any phenotype.

Peter Faletra



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