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15 Aug 2013

Brain Scans Could Detect Dyslexia

Brain scans could be used to detect if children have dyslexia before they learn to read.

According to a group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), there is a link between the language processing part of the brain, called the arcuate fasciculus, and poor reading skills. They concluded that by using an MRI scan, cases of dyslexia could be diagnosed.

Publishing their study in the Journal of Neurosciences, the team tested 40 children by having them undergo diffusion weighted-imaging, which is based on MRI scans. The children were also asked to do pre-reading tests, including trying different sounds in words.

It was found that the children who achieved lower scores on their pre-reading tests also demonstrated shrinkage in the arcuate fasciculus.

However, they say it is too early to say for certain whether this test can truly be used to indicate dyslexia as the scientists will be following up groups of children as they progress in school.

The study is part of wider research among 1000 children in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Image: Zeynep Saygin/MIT

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