A new insight for studying dyslexia
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Dyslexia, a widespread learning disability, occurs when an individual has significant difficulty with speed and accuracy of word decoding. Those with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.
Dyslexia is a neurological condition with a genetic basis. Depending on the definition used, 5% to 10% of the population is considered to have dyslexia.
The ability of the brain to synchronize with the tone and intonation of speech influences how language is processed. Previous studies carried out by the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language of San Sebastian showed that children with dyslexia show a weak synchronization with low frequency bands, and therefore, a poor activation of the regions related to language processing.
It also has been scientifically proven that young people who do not optimally process low frequency waves have greater difficulty in decoding phonemes and words, which is directly related to reading ability and disorders such as dyslexia.
Despite different therapeutic approaches and learning strategies to address the reading and writing difficulties, there is no cure for dyslexia. And despite previous studies that developmental dyslexia is caused by dysfunction of structures in the cerebral cortex, the reasons for such alterations remain unknown.
However, a recent study conducted by Dr. Katharina von Kriegstein from TU Dresden and an international team of experts reveals that people with dyslexia have a weakly developed structure that is not located in the cerebral cortex but at a subcortical processing stage — the white matter connectivity between the left auditory motion-sensitive planum temporale (mPT) and the left auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, or MGB).
The team conducted diagnostic tests and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain of those with developmental dyslexia compared to those without dyslexia. The results showed that people with reading and spelling weaknesses have less fiber connectivity between mPT and MGB in the left hemisphere of the brain than people in the control group who showed strong fiber connectivity between mPT and MGB, particularly those who did well in the reading test.
The researchers hope that these findings will initiate major novel research endeavors because they show that brain structures that have not been sufficiently studied may be relevant for explaining developmental dyslexia.
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