New research shows it’s possible to pick up some of the signs of dyslexia in the brain even before kids learn to read. And this earlier identification may start to substantially influence how parents, educators and clinicians tackle the disorder.
Is it just me--or do others find this sort of journalistic "hook" somewhat deceptive? We really don't need any more multi colored fMRI pictures beside promises of potentially remarkable new approaches to "tackle" dyslexia. Better perhaps to invest these funds now being used to run kids through fMRIs and invest instead in programs in schools. Let's "tackle" schools and curriculum that refuse to apply the data we already have paid for to alter teaching approaches to address the needs of dyslexic kids. Just sayin'!--Lou
Excerpt:Using cutting-edge MRI technology, the researchers are able to pinpoint a specific neural pathway, a white matter tract in the brain’s left hemisphere that appears to be related to dyslexia: It’s called the arcuate fasciculus.
“It’s an arch-shaped bundle of fibers that connects the frontal language areas of the brain to the areas in the temporal lobe that are important for language,” Elizabeth Norton, a neuroscientist at MIT’s McGovern Institute of Brain Research, explains.
In her lab, Norton shows me brain images from the NIH-funded kindergartner study, called READ (for Researching Early Attributes of Dyslexia).
“We see that in children who in kindergarten already have strong pre-reading scores, their arcuate fasciculus is both bigger and more well organized,” she says. On the other hand: “A child with a score of zero has a very small and not particularly organized arcuate fasciculus.”
She says we’re not quite ready to simply take a picture of your child’s brain and say “Aha, this kid is going to have dyslexia,” but we’re getting closer to that point.