New findings from researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in collaboration with Wake Forest University School of Medicine have shown that there is hope for individuals suffering a life-long history of reading problems. Using brain imaging technology the research group showed how the adult dyslexic brain responds to a specific phonological-based reading intervention program responsible for reading skill improvement. Published in the October 28 issue of the Journal Neuron, this is the first research study to examine the brain systems related to successful phonological-based instruction in dyslexic adults.
"Reading is one of the most important skills we learn – it affects virtually every aspect of a persons life," said Dr. Guinevere Eden, associate professor of pediatrics, director of Georgetown Universitys Center for the Study of Learning, and lead author of the study. "Despite the fact that the majority of individuals with dyslexia are adults, little is known about the biological basis of how they can improve their reading skills. We need to understand the neural mechanisms behind these research-based reading instructions so that we can achieve a deeper understanding of precisely how these interventions work. Our findings suggest that the brain mechanisms used by adult dyslexics might be different from those observed when young children undergo remediation, a strong indication that there will never be a one size fits all approach to helping dyslexics become proficient readers."
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), nineteen dyslexic adults underwent brain imaging twice. Half of the group completed an eight-week, phonological intervention program between the two scans, with the rest of the dyslexics serving as a comparison group.
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