Unraveling the clinical complexity of developmental language disorder: A phenotype-based enrichment analysis

  • Developmental language disorder (DLD), an underrecognized childhood disorder, is associated with many comorbidities, but the driving factor behind this relationship is yet to be determined.
  • Data extracted from electronic health records (EHRs) of a case-control (n=5273 DLD cases; n=26,353 controls) study identified behavioral and sensory phenotypes (learning disorder, delayed milestones, disorders of the acoustic nerve, conduct disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, lack of coordination, and other motor deficits) associated with DLD. Other phenotypes, not previously linked to DLD, were identified (dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and weight and nutrition).
  • According to the authors, comorbidities (rare or common) can be identified at a population level in DLD cases from EHRs using a phenotype-based enrichment analysis.