A recent study conducted at the Children’s Hospital Boston has concluded that the brain activity recorded on MRI scans even before a child actually learns to read could provide an early diagnostic marker for Dyslexia. It has been found that children at risk for Dyslexia have significant differences in brain activity that can be captured through MRI scans even before the child is capable of picking up his first lessons.
Now, developmental Dyslexia responds to medical treatment faster and since the disease affects 5 to 17% percent of all children, the findings of this study are significantly important as far as developmental dyslexia treatments are concerned. Did you know that 50% of all children with a family history of dyslexia to have significant difficulties in recognizing and pronouncing words fluently? That is shockingly true and if you add the probabilities of the 5 to 17% of the child population having dyslexia, the total number of children with dyslexia across the country at any given point in time would be huge.
For the uninitiated, children suffering from dyslexia have difficulty mapping sounds to written language and although different treatments are available, they don’t come with their due share of side effects and some of those medications can even worsen the problem. However, developmental Dyslexia is much easier to treat and responds faster to treatment – all that is needed is an early MRI scan of the brain of the child at the preschool stage.
This research study was led by Nora Raschle, PhD, at the Children’s Hospital Boston and a total of 30 preschool children participated in the study with an average age of 5.5 years. In this study, the subjects were required to decide on whether or not two different words started with the same speech sounds and they were then subjected to MRI scans and the hospital staff followed an elaborate protocol to make sure that the young children were still inside the MRI scanner.
[box type="note"]It was found that children who had a family history of dyslexia had reduced metabolic activity in different parts of the brain, especially the occipital lobe, parietal lobe and temporal lobe in the brain as compared to the control group of the same age, IQ and social economic status.[/box]
In most of the cases the problem of dyslexia is related to compromised comprehension and writing abilities and the common belief is the problem starts after a child learns or tries to learn his first words off books at school. This study however proves that certain parts of the brain of dyslexia patients are deficient right from birth and school education only helps other people recognize an existing problem. However, the study has also been able to find out that there is no significant increase in activation of the frontal regions of the brain before a child actually starts to read. That again means that the frontal parts of the brain try to compensate for the other deficits but that can only happen after a child has started reading.
So, what does all of this boil down to? It is not unknown to us that many juvenile crimes are rooted in dyslexia and such crimes often stem from the negative experiences of dyslexia patients in school because most of them they are misunderstood and accused as lazy and unmotivated. So, a little bit of awareness about how an MRI scan at preschool age can detect dyslexia markers, could cut down on juvenile crime rates and also the total number of children suffering from the disease in its advanced stages. So, let’s start spreading the word, shall we?
Jessica Palin is a health blogger/writer. She writes for Thereadingclinic.com, to spread awareness about ADHD and dyslexia in children. The portal avails a dyslexia help which is a dialog based tutoring for Reading Comprehension and Writing.