Brain MRI Diagnoses Dyslexia Early

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?

 Author Bio:

Jessica Palin is a health blogger/writer. She writes for, 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.

jessica palin

Jessica is a freelance writer with medical background and having a special interest in cosmetic procedures niche. She likes to explore remarkable inventions and trends which come up in plastic-cosmetic surgery circle.

2 thoughts on “Brain MRI Diagnoses Dyslexia Early

  • July 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Dyslexia isn’t a seeing problem. My son had problems in kindergarten last year with breaking down words to spell them, phoneme segmentation. He also had problem recognizing rhyming words. After a summer to a year of tutoring with someone who specializes in the Orton-Gillingham method, multi-sensory learning, he was able to get A’s & B’s in 1st grade spelling.

    From what I’ve seen with the MRI’s they had recognized that the normal person reads with the left side of their brain. A Dyslexic reads with the left side of the brain and has to connect between the hemispheres to the right. They use more of there brain and have a lot more activity going on trying to connect.

    Here are some great links for more information about Dyslexia:

  • July 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

    “It was found that children who had a family history of dyslexia had reduced metabolic activity in different parts of the brain”
    Reality check : MRI ( for dyslexia) is a  research tool that as yet is unable to identify whether anyone is dyslexic or not and will never be used as a screening tool . The number of MRI machines are too few and expensive and there is no unused capacity that is available for that task.
    If the information (data ) basically confirms that people with a family history have dyslexia markers then why not just proceed with interventions based on the family history. I don’t see any additional information is being gained by using the MRI .
    I sell See Right Dyslexia Glasses that I market to individuals that can describe visual problems that make reading difficult, visual dyslexia . MRI studies show the same types of differences reported here in the visual centers of the brain. The reality is only a few of those dyslexics have visual problems as causal for their reading problems. Hence the need to target visual intervention only to those that can actually describe their visual problems that make reading difficult.
    Since everyone with a family history of dyslexia will not be dyslexic ( increased odds sure not not nearly all ) and the article implies that all with a family history of dyslexia show differences by MRI the proper conclusion is that the MRI can only be used as a crude indication that is no better than using a family history of dyslexia as an indication.
    Pen and paper test combined with interviews are still a much better method of identifying dyslexia and in fact that is the method used for the MRI studies that have groups of dyslexics and non-dyslexics tested to identify who is dyslexic or not.


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