Associations Between the 2D:4D Proxy Biomarker for Prenatal Hormone Exposures and Symptoms of Developmental Language Disorder Purpose Relative lengths of the index (2D) and ring (4D) fingers in humans represent a retrospective biomarker of prenatal hormonal exposures. For this reason, the 2D:4D digit ratio can be used to investigate potential hormonal contributions to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. This study tested potential group differences in 2D:4D ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Associations Between the 2D:4D Proxy Biomarker for Prenatal Hormone Exposures and Symptoms of Developmental Language Disorder
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sean M. Redmond
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Andrea C. Ash
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Sean M. Redmond: sean.redmond@health.utah.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Carol Miller
    Editor: Carol Miller×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Associations Between the 2D:4D Proxy Biomarker for Prenatal Hormone Exposures and Symptoms of Developmental Language Disorder
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3226-3236. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0143
History: Received April 17, 2017 , Revised May 26, 2017 , Accepted June 22, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3226-3236. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0143
History: Received April 17, 2017; Revised May 26, 2017; Accepted June 22, 2017

Purpose Relative lengths of the index (2D) and ring (4D) fingers in humans represent a retrospective biomarker of prenatal hormonal exposures. For this reason, the 2D:4D digit ratio can be used to investigate potential hormonal contributions to the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. This study tested potential group differences in 2D:4D digit ratios in a sample of boys with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) and examined the strength of associations between 2D:4D digit ratio and a battery of verbal and nonverbal measures.

Method A group of 29 boys affected by DLD and a group of 76 boys with typical language abilities participated (age range = 5;6–11;0 years). Scanned images were used to measure finger lengths. Language measures included the core language subtests from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Fourth Edition (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003), a nonword repetition task, a sentence recall task, and the Test of Early Grammatical Impairment (Rice & Wexler, 2001).

Results Significant group differences indicated lower 2D:4D digit ratios in the group with DLD. Modest associations were found between 2D:4D digit ratios and some Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals–Fourth Edition subtests.

Conclusions Prenatal hormone exposures may play a role in the etiology of some language symptoms.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this research was provided by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC011023. Portions of this study were presented at the June 2016 Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI. We are greatly indebted to the children and their families for their participation. Appreciation is also extended to Lisa Holmstead (Salt Lake City School District) and Deb Luker (Jordan School District) for their assistance with recruitment. Several graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Utah's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders assisted in various aspects of the project and deserve recognition for their contributions: David Aamodt, Peter Behnke, Hannah Caron, Kimber Campbell, Jessica Carrizo, Tyler Christopulos, Faith Denzer, Olivia Erickson, Micah Foster, Elizabeth Hafen, Lyssandra Harker, Kristin Hatch, Nathan Lily, Amy Ludlow, Kristi Moon, Elie Muyankindi, Theresa Pfaff, McKenzie Rohde, Michelle Stettler, and Amy Wilder.
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