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THE DYSLEXIA SOLUTION

Volume 1 • #1• January 2008

NEWSLETTER 

          Sorry about December’s newsletter. Somehow between Christmas, a family wedding in California, a case of whooping cough and-- never mind.  It just didn’t get done.

            Too bad, because we have some most welcome and gratifying new information to tell you about.  Some researchers in Bergen, Norway, have done a study that supplies the final piece we have needed to complete our jigsaw puzzle.  Lots of studies have shown that the shape or size of the corpus callosum in dyslectics is often slightly out of whack and presumably might contribute to reading problems. My faithful readers will remember that timing is critical in having visual and auditory signals arrive together in the language area for proper reading, and in the dyslexic individual, they are out of sync with each other so don’t arrive simultaneously. (“Neurons out of sync fail to link” or, conversely, “neurons that wire together fire together.”) See Newsletter #66. But whether the shape or size of the CC would causethose timingproblems had never been proven. In fact, no two studies I have ever seen agree particularly as to which part of the CC is out of shape, never mind whether the variations are the cause of the linguistic problems.

            Until now.  These ingenious Norwegians took the requisite fMRI scans of the CC of 20 dyslectic boys and 20 non-dyslectic ones.  Then they traced them onto paper so they could compare sizes and shapes directly.  They found that they could pick out the dyslectic kids 80% of the time! The reason was that the CC was actually shorter in a certain area, although the overall length and total area was the same.  That section (called the posterior midbody isthmus region, in case you were wondering)  contains neurons that connect the two sides of the auditory cortices, and other studies have shown that this area has a strong growth factor in childhood that coincides with the acquisition of language!  The Norwegians showed that in dyslexia, that area of the CC does not undergo the same growth pattern as it does in normal readers. So it is a weak sister that leaves the problem of figuring out what a word is to the right hemisphere, with the results that we all know about.

            When I read this, I would have given a whoop of delight, except that my whoops at that time had nothing to do with delight, so I had to settle for a warm fuzzy feeling.  After all these years!  Now, of course, we know for sure why RfS works.  It by-passes that underdeveloped mid-section and trains the left hemisphere mechanically.  And it delivers its auditory signals to the left side at the same time that the visual ones are coming in so they link properly. Maybe it’s true that timing is everything in life. 

Fun and Games:

If you want to see all the intriguing pictures of the CC, go to Google, put in Dyslexia von Plessen, and when it comes up, go down to the fifth article- the one that requires Adobe, and scroll down through all the text to the pictures. 



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