As many as 1 person in every 10 has some form of dyslexia. Dyslexia is a condition marked by difficulties of processing visual data. It results in problems with reading and with processing certain types of visual information. The causes of dyslexia have been under intense study during the last 25 years. So what do we know about it? What causes dyslexia? Can it be cured? What can be done about it?
Researchers now believe that, at base, dyslexia is a neuronal migration disorder that affects the development of the human brain. Neurons, the nerve cells that make up the brain's neural network, are developed out of stem cells some distance from where they need to extremely end up.
This distance can be many thousands of times the diameter of these cells. Proper neural development requires that these cells migrate, move over from where they are formed, to where they are optimally required to be. In the brains of people with dyslexia, some of these neural cells have not migrated to their proper place, judging by where they are in the brains of non-dyslexics. Why did this happen? The often the causes can be many and varied.
The kind of neuronal migration problem that apparently causes dyslexia can come from some sort of shock or disruption, or the breakdown and failure of certain signals from the genetic code that does not get transmitted or interpreted properly.
These disruptions do not all share the same cause. They can be caused by infections, mechanical injury to the brain, toxic exposure, intrauterine strokes, even by genetic factors. However, in all cases, they reflect an upset to the developing brain during gestation, some time between 16 and 24 weeks. So whether or not a given individual will be dyslexic appears to have already been determined well before they are born.
There is also a genetic link. Recent studies suggest that the gene known as DCDC2 may be a major causative factor in up to 20 percent of dyslexia cases. Whether the gene causes dyslexia or sets up conditions that allow it to develop is still unclear.
Can dyslexia be cured? No. Can it be invented? Maybe. Can its effects be overcome? Certainly.
Researchers are working feverishly to understand exactly what goes wrong with the neuronal migrations. They want to understand how these migrations are supposed to work, what makes them go right. And how to prevent any deviations that may be causes of dyslexia.
What can be done about it? A great deal, once enough testing has been done to properly identify it. Each case is different, so a detailed diagnosis is needed to determine the type of dyslexia and its severity. Armed with that information therapists and teachers can go to work, help the dyslexic to overcome the problems.
The human brain is marvelously complex and adaptive. There are multiple neural pathways; if one path does not work as well as it should, then another can be developed to compensate. (Follow a link below and read the story of Barry Ball, aged 51, to better understand)
The problem is that 90-95% of adult dyslexics are unaware that dyslexia is their problem. Long ago they got classified as “slow learners” or “a bit dense” and it has followed them all of their lives. They struggle with the condition, try to hide it even, but have come to accept that they are “different”.
If they could be tested and diagnosed, there are ways around almost all of the problems that stem from dyslexia. There is almost nothing that non-dyslexics can accomplish that diagnosed dyslexics can not. So what can be done about it? We can continue to study, research and better understand the causes of dyslexia.
Anyone with any possibilities of having the condition should be tested. Once tested, if any dyslexia is found, they should be thoroughly diagnosed. And then started on the road to overcoming their dyslexic problems, realizing their full potential and living a full, joyous and prosperous life!
For additional info about dyslexia and the causes of dyslexia, follow the links below …