New study might have found a cause of dyslexia
Dyslexia is an incredibly common condition, which is characterised by having problems with reading, writing and spelling. In fact, dyslexia is actually classified as a "specific learning difficulty", which means that it only causes problems with certain abilities used for learning. This makes it unlike a conventional learning disability, as intelligence isn't affected.
It is estimated that one in up to every 10 to 20 people in the United Kingdom suffer from some degree of dyslexia. This is of course concerning, as dyslexia is a lifelong issue, which can complicate people's lives on a daily basis. And while plenty of resources are poured into helping to support those who have the condition flourish in school and work, there has been little breakthrough with regards to finding a definitive cure.
However, a recent study has determined the possible root of dyslexia, bringing us ever closer to a solution.
Scientists from the University of Rennes in France have found that dyslexia could have something to do with the eyes of the people that suffer from the condition.
Researchers studied the eyes of 30 non-dyslexic and 30 dyslexic people. And the consequent study, which was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, discovered that the spot where colours are processed in the eyes was different in those who were dyslexic. In the non-dyslexic participants, the spot was round, but in the dyslexic subjects' eyes, it was not.
This means that the perfectly round eye is more dominant, and as such, these participants had clearer vision as well as better connections between the left and right side of their brain. This is quite telling when it comes to dyslexia, because as well as having problems with reading, writing and spelling, dyslexic people can also struggle to tell the difference between left and right.
As such, the outlier in the eye could mean that the brain becomes confused between images that are similar. A co-author of the study, Guy Ropars clarified:
"[The lack of asymmetry] might be the biological and anatomical basis of reading and spelling disabilities. For dyslexic students, their two eyes are equivalent and their brain has to successively rely on the two slightly different versions of a given visual scene."
Whilst this study is certainly illuminating, it doesn't shed any further light on why exactly this occurs in people's eyes, or whether it could be the sole factor contributing to the condition.
Although the exact cause of dyslexia is yet to be determined, it does appear to run in families. It's thought that certain genes inherited from your parents could come together in a way that affects how some aspects of the brain develop in early life. Hopefully, further scientific research will continue to break ground on the condition.