Cecil-Brunst-2021

Highlights

An executive function-based reading intervention is related to an increased reading ability in children.
Greater “gains” in word reading were associated with low GLX, Glu, Cr, and NAA concentrations for children with dyslexia compared to typical readers.
This study supports the extension of the neural noise hypothesis in dyslexia also to cortical regions responsible for executive function skills.

Abstract

Background/Objective

The “neural noise” hypothesis suggests that individuals with dyslexia have high glutamate concentrations associated with their reading challenges. Different reading intervention programs have showed low GLX (a combined measure for glutamine and glutamate obtained with in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy) in association with reading improvement. Several studies demonstrated improved reading and increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex following an-executive-function (EF)-based reading intervention. The goals of the current study are two-fold: 1) to determine if the effect of the EF-based reading program extends also to the metabolite concentrations and in particular, on the GLX concentrations in the anterior cingulate cortex; 2) to expand the neural noise hypothesis in dyslexia also to neural networks supporting additional parts of the reading networks, i.e. in specific regions related to executive function skills.

Methods

Children with dyslexia and typical readers were trained on the EF-based reading program. Reading ability was assessed before and after training while spectroscopy data was obtained at the end of the program. The association between change in reading scores following intervention and GLX concentrations was examined.

Results

Greater “gains” in word reading were associated with low GLX, Glu, Cr, and NAA concentrations for children with dyslexia compared to typical readers.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the improvement reported following the EF-based reading intervention program also involved a low GLX concentration, as well as additional metabolites previously associated with better reading ability (Glx, Cr, NAA) which may point at the decreased neural noise, especially in the anterior cingulate cortex, as a possible mechanism for the effect of this program.

Tagged as: anterior cingulate cortex, executive function, glutamate, and neural noise hypothesis

Citation:

Kim M. Cecil, Kelly J. Brunst, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus,
Greater reading gain following intervention is associated with low magnetic resonance spectroscopy derived concentrations in the anterior cingulate cortex in children with dyslexia,
Brain Research, 2021,147386

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