Cortical Thickness and Local Gyrification in Children with Developmental Dyslexia.
ABSTRACT: Developmental dyslexia is frequently associated with atypical brain structure and function within regions of the left hemisphere reading network. To date, few studies have employed surface-based techniques to evaluate cortical thickness and local gyrification in dyslexia. Of the existing cortical thickness studies in children, many are limited by small sample size, variability in dyslexia identification, and the recruitment of prereaders who may or may not develop reading impairment. Further, no known study has assessed local gyrification index (LGI) in dyslexia, which may serve as a sensitive indicator of atypical neurodevelopment. In this study, children with dyslexia (n = 31) and typically decoding peers (n = 45) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging to assess whole-brain vertex-wise cortical thickness and LGI. Children with dyslexia demonstrated reduced cortical thickness compared with controls within previously identified reading areas including bilateral occipitotemporal and occipitoparietal regions. Compared with controls, children with dyslexia also showed increased gyrification in left occipitotemporal and right superior frontal cortices. The convergence of thinner and more gyrified cortex within the left occipitotemporal region among children with dyslexia may reflect its early temporal role in processing word forms, and highlights the importance of the ventral stream for successful word reading.
Project description:Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported reduced activation in parietotemporal and occipitotemporal areas in adults and children with developmental dyslexia compared to controls during reading and reading related tasks. These patterns of regionally reduced activation have been linked to behavioral impairments of reading-related processes (e.g., phonological skills and rapid automatized naming). The observed functional and behavioral differences in individuals with developmental dyslexia have been complemented by reports of reduced gray matter in left parietotemporal, occipitotemporal areas, fusiform and lingual gyrus and the cerebellum. An important question for education is whether these neural differences are present before reading is taught. Developmental dyslexia can only be diagnosed after formal reading education starts. However, here we investigate whether the previously detected gray matter alterations in adults and children with developmental dyslexia can already be observed in a small group of pre-reading children with a family-history of developmental dyslexia compared to age and IQ-matched children without a family-history (N = 20/mean age: 5:9 years; age range 5:1-6:5 years). Voxel-based morphometry revealed significantly reduced gray matter volume indices for pre-reading children with, compared to children without, a family-history of developmental dyslexia in left occipitotemporal, bilateral parietotemporal regions, left fusiform gyrus and right lingual gyrus. Gray matter volume indices in left hemispheric occipitotemporal and parietotemporal regions of interest also correlated positively with rapid automatized naming. No differences between the two groups were observed in frontal and cerebellar regions. This discovery in a small group of children suggests that previously described functional and structural alterations in developmental dyslexia may not be due to experience-dependent brain changes but may be present at birth or develop in early childhood prior to reading onset. Further studies using larger sample sizes and longitudinal analyses are needed in order to determine whether the identified structural alterations may be utilized as structural markers for the early identification of children at risk, which may prevent the negative clinical, social and psychological outcome of developmental dyslexia.
Project description:Extensive MRI evidence indicates early brain overgrowth in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Local gyrification may reflect the distribution and timing of aberrant cortical expansion in ASDs. We examined MRI data from (Study 1) 64 individuals with ASD and 64 typically developing (TD) controls (7-19 years), and from (Study 2) an independent sample from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (n = 31/group). Local Gyrification Index (lGI), cortical thickness (CT), and surface area (SA) were measured. In Study 1, differences in lGI (ASD > TD) were found in left parietal and temporal and right frontal and temporal regions. lGI decreased bilaterally with age, but more steeply in ASD in left precentral, right lateral occipital, and middle frontal clusters. CT differed between groups in right perisylvian cortex (TD > ASD), but no differences were found for SA. Partial correlations between lGI and CT were generally negative, but associations were weaker in ASD in several clusters. Study 2 results were consistent, though less extensive. Altered gyrification may reflect unique information about the trajectory of cortical development in ASDs. While early overgrowth tends to be undetectable in later childhood in ASDs, findings may indicate that a trace of this developmental abnormality could remain in a disorder-specific pattern of gyrification.
Project description:Developmental dyslexia is one of the most prevalent learning disabilities, thought to be associated with dysfunction in the neural systems underlying typical reading acquisition. Neuroimaging research has shown that readers with dyslexia exhibit regional hypoactivation in left hemisphere reading nodes, relative to control counterparts. This evidence, however, comes from studies that have focused only on isolated aspects of reading. The present study aims to characterize left hemisphere regional hypoactivation in readers with dyslexia for the main processes involved in successful reading: phonological, orthographic and semantic. Forty-one participants performed a demanding reading task during MRI scanning. Results showed that readers with dyslexia exhibited hypoactivation associated with phonological processing in parietal regions; with orthographic processing in parietal regions, Broca's area, ventral occipitotemporal cortex and thalamus; and with semantic processing in angular gyrus and hippocampus. Stronger functional connectivity was observed for readers with dyslexia than for control readers 1) between the thalamus and the inferior parietal cortex/ventral occipitotemporal cortex during pseudoword reading; and, 2) between the hippocampus and the pars opercularis during word reading. These findings constitute the strongest evidence to date for the interplay between regional hypoactivation and functional connectivity in the main processes supporting reading in dyslexia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex neurogenetic disorder with symptoms involving not only hypothalamic, but also a global, central nervous system dysfunction. Previously, qualitative studies reported polymicrogyria in adults with PWS. However, there have been no quantitative neuroimaging studies of cortical morphology in PWS and no studies to date in children with PWS. Thus, our aim was to investigate and quantify cortical complexity in children with PWS compared to healthy controls. In addition, we investigated differences between genetic subtypes of PWS and the relationship between cortical complexity and intelligence within the PWS group. METHODS: High-resolution structural magnetic resonance images were acquired in 24 children with genetically confirmed PWS (12 carrying a deletion (DEL), 12 with maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD)) and 11 age- and sex-matched typically developing siblings as healthy controls. Local gyrification index (lGI) was obtained using the FreeSurfer software suite. RESULTS: Four large clusters, two in each hemisphere, comprising frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, had lower lGI in children with PWS, compared to healthy controls. Clusters with lower lGI also had significantly lower cortical surface area in children with PWS. No differences in cortical thickness of the clusters were found between the PWS and healthy controls. lGI correlated significantly with cortical surface area, but not with cortical thickness. Within the PWS group, lGI in both hemispheres correlated with Total IQ and Verbal IQ, but not with Performance IQ. Children with mUPD, compared to children with DEL, had two small clusters with lower lGI in the right hemisphere. lGI of these clusters correlated with cortical surface area, but not with cortical thickness or IQ. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that lower cortical complexity in children with PWS partially underlies cognitive impairment and developmental delay, probably due to alterations in gene networks that play a prominent role in early brain development.
Project description:Abnormalities in cortical structure are commonly observed in children with dyslexia in key regions of the "reading network." Whether alteration in cortical features reflects pathology inherent to dyslexia or environmental influence (e.g., impoverished reading experience) remains unclear. To address this question, we compared MRI-derived metrics of cortical thickness (CT), surface area (SA), gray matter volume (GMV), and their lateralization across three different groups of children with a historical diagnosis of dyslexia, who varied in current reading level. We compared three dyslexia subgroups with: (1) persistent reading and spelling impairment; (2) remediated reading impairment (normal reading scores), and (3) remediated reading and spelling impairments (normal reading and spelling scores); and a control group of (4) typically developing children. All groups were matched for age, gender, handedness, and IQ. We hypothesized that the dyslexia group would show cortical abnormalities in regions of the reading network relative to controls, irrespective of remediation status. Such a finding would support that cortical abnormalities are inherent to dyslexia and are not a consequence of abnormal reading experience. Results revealed increased CT of the left fusiform gyrus in the dyslexia group relative to controls. Similarly, the dyslexia group showed CT increase of the right superior temporal gyrus, extending into the planum temporale, which resulted in a rightward CT asymmetry on lateralization indices. There were no group differences in SA, GMV, or their lateralization. These findings held true regardless of remediation status. Each reading level group showed the same "double hit" of atypically increased left fusiform CT and rightward superior temporal CT asymmetry. Thus, findings provide evidence that a developmental history of dyslexia is associated with CT abnormalities, independent of remediation status.
Project description:The visual word form area (VWFA) in the left ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) cortex is key to fluent reading in children and adults. Diminished VWFA activation during print processing tasks is a common finding in subjects with severe reading problems. Here, we report fMRI data from a multicentre study with 140 children in primary school (7.9-12.2 years; 55 children with dyslexia, 73 typical readers, 12 intermediate readers). All performed a semantic task on visually presented words and a matched control task on symbol strings. With this large group of children, including the entire spectrum from severely impaired to highly fluent readers, we aimed to clarify the association of reading fluency and left vOT activation during visual word processing. The results of this study confirm reduced word-sensitive activation within the left vOT in children with dyslexia. Interestingly, the association of reading skills and left vOT activation was especially strong and spatially extended in children with dyslexia. Thus, deficits in basic visual word form processing increase with the severity of reading disability but seem only weakly associated with fluency within the typical reading range suggesting a linear dependence of reading scores with VFWA activation only in the poorest readers.
Project description:Neurobiological basis for cognitive development and psychiatric conditions remains unexplored in children with the FMR1 premutation (PM). Knock-in mouse models of PM revealed defects in embryonic cortical development that may affect cortical folding. Cortical-folding complexity quantified using local gyrification index (LGI) was examined in 61 children (age 8-12 years, 19/14 male/female PM carriers, 15/13 male/female controls). Whole-brain vertex-wise analysis of LGI was performed for group comparisons and correlations with IQ. Individuals with aberrant gyrification in 68 cortical areas were identified using Z-scores of LGI (hyper: Z???2.58, hypo: Z???-?2.58). Significant group-by-sex-by-age interaction in LGI was detected in right inferior temporal and fusiform cortices, which correlated negatively with CGG repeat length in the PM carriers. Sixteen PM boys (hyper/hypo: 7/9) and 10 PM girls (hyper/hypo: 2/5, 3 both) displayed aberrant LGI in 1-17 regions/person while 2 control boys (hyper/hypo: 0/2) and 2 control girls (hyper/hypo: 1/1) met the same criteria in only 1 region/person. LGI in the precuneus and cingulate cortices correlated positively with IQ scores in PM and control boys while negatively in PM girls and no significant correlation in control girls. These findings reveal aberrant gyrification, which may underlie cognitive performance in children with the PM.
Project description:Developmental dyslexia is a neurobiological deficit characterized by persistent difficulty in learning to read in children and adults who otherwise possess normal intelligence. Functional and structural connectivity data suggest that developmental dyslexia could be a disconnection syndrome. However, whether abnormalities in connectivity exist in beginning readers at-risk for reading difficulties is unknown. Using graph-theoretical analysis, we investigated differences in global and regional topological properties of structural brain networks in 42 beginning readers with (FH+) and without (FH-) familial risk for reading difficulties. We constructed separate structural correlation networks based on measures of surface area and cortical thickness. Results revealed changes in topological properties in brain regions known to be abnormal in dyslexia (left supramarginal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus) in the FH+ group mainly in the network constructed from measures of cortical surface area. We also found alterations in topological properties in regions that are not often advertised as dyslexia but nonetheless play important role in reading (left posterior cingulate, hippocampus, and left precentral gyrus). To our knowledge, this is the first report of altered topological properties of structural correlation networks in children at risk for reading difficulty, and motivates future studies that examine the mechanisms underlying how these brain networks may mediate the influences of family history on reading outcome.
Project description:Although an extensive literature exists on the neurobiological correlates of dyslexia (DYS), to date, no studies have examined the neurobiological profile of those who exhibit poor reading comprehension despite intact word-level abilities (specific reading comprehension deficits [S-RCD]). Here we investigated the word-level abilities of S-RCD as compared to typically developing readers (TD) and those with DYS by examining the blood oxygenation-level dependent response to words varying on frequency. Understanding whether S-RCD process words in the same manner as TD, or show alternate pathways to achieve normal word-reading abilities, may provide insights into the origin of this disorder. Results showed that as compared to TD, DYS showed abnormal covariance during word processing with right-hemisphere homologs of the left-hemisphere reading network in conjunction with left occipitotemporal underactivation. In contrast, S-RCD showed an intact neurobiological response to word stimuli in occipitotemporal regions (associated with fast and efficient word processing); however, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) abnormalities were observed. Specifically, TD showed a higher-percent signal change within right IFG for low-versus-high frequency words as compared to both S-RCD and DYS. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, a coupling-by-reading group interaction was found in right IFG for DYS, as indicated by a widespread greater covariance between right IFG and right occipitotemporal cortex/visual word-form areas, as well as bilateral medial frontal gyrus, as compared to TD. For S-RCD, the context-dependent functional interaction anomaly was most prominently seen in left IFG, which covaried to a greater extent with hippocampal, parahippocampal, and prefrontal areas than for TD for low- as compared to high-frequency words. Given the greater lexical access demands of low frequency as compared to high-frequency words, these results may suggest specific weaknesses in accessing lexical-semantic representations during word recognition. These novel findings provide foundational insights into the nature of S-RCD, and set the stage for future investigations of this common, but understudied, reading disorder.
Project description:Key PointsDyslexia is a neurological disorder with a genetic origin, but the underlying biological and cognitive causes are still being investigated.This study compares the brain activation pattern while reading in Spanish, a semitransparent language, in three groups of children: typically developing readers, dyslexic readers and readers with functional monocular vision.Based on our results Dyslexia would be a neurological disorder not related to vision impairments and would require a multidisciplinary treatment based on improving phonological awareness and language development. Developmental dyslexia is a neurological disorder the underlying biological and cognitive causes of which are still being investigated, a key point, because the findings will determine the best therapeutic approach to use. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we studied the brain activation pattern while reading in the language-related cortical areas from the two reading routes, phonological and orthographic, and the strength of their association with reading scores in 66 Spanish-speaking children aged 9-12 years divided into three groups: typically developing readers (controls), dyslexic readers and readers with monocular vision due to ocular motility disorders but with normal reading development, to assess whether (or not) the neuronal network for reading in children with dyslexia has similarities with that in children with impaired binocular vision due to ocular motility disorders. We found that Spanish-speaking children with dyslexia have a brain circuit for reading that differs from that in children with monocular vision. Individuals with dyslexia tend to hypoactivate some of the language-related areas in the left hemisphere engaged by the phonological route, especially the visual word form area and left Wernicke's area, and try to compensate this deficit by activating language-related areas related to the orthographic route, such as the anterior part of the visual word form area and the posterior part of both middle temporal gyri. That is, they seem to compensate for impairment in the phonological route through orthographic routes of both hemispheres. Our results suggest that ocular motility disturbances do not play a causal role in dyslexia. Dyslexia seems to be a neurological disorder that is unrelated to vision impairments and requires early recognition and multidisciplinary treatment, based on improving phonological awareness and language development, to achieve the best possible outcome.