What Causes Dyslexia?

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Story Updated: Jun 10, 2013

Is dyslexia caused by a visual processing dysfunction? That's been the question for decades.

Dyslexia is a common learning difference that impacts up to 12-percent of the population. It makes it difficult to read.

Now, with the help of high tech imaging...a team at Georgetown University Medical Center is looking to provide some answers about the role visual symptoms play in the disorder.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments using functional MRI. They compared brain activity in dyslexic kids versus regular readers in the same age group in different age groups and after reading intervention.

The results showed that while there was a strong correlation between reading ability and brain activity in the visual centers, treating vision deficits did not result in better reading. In fact, the researchers say it was the other way around intensive tutoring in reading led to improved visual activity.

Bottom line, vision issues don't cause dyslexia...but instead, may be a consequence of dyslexic kids reading less.

The researchers say their findings have important implications for the treatment of dyslexia, which should revolve around the skill of reading.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.