Current dyslexia cases can only be diagnosed as a child is learning to read or moving on to advanced reading material, and he or she struggles. More than likely, the child has already been frustrated and fallen slightly behind in school. Researchers at MIT may have found a way to catch it earlier, and prepare the child with extra care and lessons.

The researchers found that size of arcuate fasciculus is connected to reading skills in kindergartners.

The arcuate fasciculus connects the Broca’s area (speed production) with Wenicke’s area (understanding written/spoken language), and a small arcuate fasciculus usually translates to poor pre-reading skills.

However, it’s still unclear whether the smaller size causes difficulties or little reading experience actually causes the underdevelopment. This should be the foundation for future research.

The MRI used a diffusion-weighted imaging technique on 40 children in Massachusetts. They found that the size was connected to their ability to “identify and employ the varying sounds of language,” which is the first step in reading.

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