To quote the back cover: “[This book] presents a major breakthrough in the treatment of … ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia”. And it does just that, presenting a clear case for the importance of Long Chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) in brain development and the critical role they have with learning problems such as dyslexia.
BBC Radio 4’s Case Notes programme this week focuses on Autism and how there appears to have to been a rise in frequency from 1 in 1000 in the 1960’s to close to 1 in 100 today. Nothing amazingly new in the programme but a good, balanced discussion on Autism.
The Society for Neuroscience has an excellent guide for the interested lay-man into neurology (the physical / chemical mechanisms of the brain) available for download.[PDF 800k]. It provides a detailed explanation of what happens in the brain during its growth, sleep and stress, how memory works and the effects of diseases like Parkinson’s. It has a small section on dyslexia which focuses on the phonological aspects of the problem and doesn’t mention the role played by the cerebellum and vestibular systems.
The latest issue of Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience includes a paper on the difficulties of dyslexics have with visual motion and how this relates to problems with reading.
“Developmental dyslexia is associated with deficits in the processing of visual motion stimuli, and some evidence suggests that these motion processing deficits are related to various reading subskills deficits. …. Results suggest that there are in fact two distinct motion processing deficits in developmental dyslexia, rather than one as assumed by previous research, and that each of these deficits is associated with a different type of reading subskills deficit. A deficit in detecting coherent motion is selectively associated with low accuracy on reading subskills tests, and a deficit in discriminating velocities is selectively associated with slow performance on these same tests. In addition, … The two distinct patterns of motion processing and reading deficits demonstrated by this study may reflect separable underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of developmental dyslexia.”
The Dore Centres have released results from their independently run study at the Balsall Common School (West Midlands, UK). The first results were originally published in the journal Dyslexia (Abstract) in February 2003. This latest set of results carries on the study for another year and were presented to the British Dyslexia Association‘s International Conference in March 2004. By carrying on the study for an extra year it has been demonstrated that the children who have completed the programme not only catch up with their peers but that they maintain this equality and do not regress over time. The cerebellum / vestibular system retains its training for at least 12 months after training has stopped. Overall the study showed significant progress in dyslexia and attention related problems in the treated children and ruled out the results being caused by the placebo effect. A sixteen page document that is somewhere between a scientific research paper and a press release can be found on the Dore web site (MS Word document). Press coverage can be found in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Washington Times, BBC and The Scotsman.