Study: Can Dyslexia Be Detected Before a Child Learns to Read?
New dyslexia research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicates that dyslexia may be detected through brain imaging, even before a child learns to read. A specific neural pathway called the arcuate fasciculus was found to be much larger in kindergarten children who had strong pre-reading scores. Children with low scores showed a much smaller area that was not particularly well-organized.
“Maybe the most surprising aspect of the research so far is how clear a signal we see in the brains of children who are likely to go on to be poor readers.” says MIT neuroscientist and lead investigator John Gabrieli. “The bigger challenges for us now soon will be…to figure out what kind of interventions can be done in a 4-year-old or a 3-year-old that might put her or him on a different pathway altogether,” he says.
The average U.S. classroom has one or two kids with dyslexia, a brain-based learning disability. Early detection can help to reduce a dyslexic child's struggle to read in later years and avoid the social stigma of dyslexia that often results. Boston Children's Hospital is now enrolling children to further investigate these findings and how genetics may play role in dyslexia.