Sex-specific gray matter volume differences in females with developmental dyslexia

Center for the Study of Learning, Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, BOX 571406, Suite 150, Building D, 4000 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC, 20057, USA.
Brain Structure and Function (Impact Factor: 5.62). 04/2013; 219(3). DOI: 10.1007/s00429-013-0552-4
Source: PubMed


Developmental dyslexia, characterized by unexpected reading difficulty, is associated with anomalous brain anatomy and function. Previous structural neuroimaging studies have converged in reports of less gray matter volume (GMV) in dyslexics within left hemisphere regions known to subserve language. Due to the higher prevalence of dyslexia in males, these studies are heavily weighted towards males, raising the question whether studies of dyslexia in females only and using the same techniques, would generate the same findings. In a replication study of men, we obtained the same findings of less GMV in dyslexics in left middle/inferior temporal gyri and right postcentral/supramarginal gyri as reported in the literature. However, comparisons in women with and without dyslexia did not yield left hemisphere differences, and instead, we found less GMV in right precuneus and paracentral lobule/medial frontal gyrus. In boys, we found less GMV in left inferior parietal cortex (supramarginal/angular gyri), again consistent with previous work, while in girls differences were within right central sulcus, spanning adjacent gyri, and left primary visual cortex. Our investigation into anatomical variants in dyslexia replicates existing studies in males, but at the same time shows that dyslexia in females is not characterized by involvement of left hemisphere language regions but rather early sensory and motor cortices (i.e., motor and premotor cortex, primary visual cortex). Our findings suggest that models on the brain basis of dyslexia, primarily developed through the study of males, may not be appropriate for females and suggest a need for more sex-specific investigations into dyslexia.

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Available from: Guinevere F Eden, Feb 10, 2014
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    • "This view was confirmed in a study by Peyrin et al. (2012) who observed various functional differences in both hemispheres between a young dyslexic adult with only phonological impairments as opposed to a young dyslexic adult with only an impairment of visual attention span. Another explanation for inconsistent findings in the perisylvian fronto-temporo-parietal network may be gender effects as reported by Evans et al. (2013). They observed typical left and right hemispheric alterations in men, but in women mainly right hemispheric alterations, which seems to be consistent with our observations. "
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    ABSTRACT: In voxel-based morphometry studies of dyslexia, the relation between causal theories of dyslexia and gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume alterations is still under debate. Some alterations are consistently reported, but others failed to reach significance. We investigated GM alterations in a large sample of Dutch students (37 dyslexics and 57 non-dyslexics) with two analyses: group differences in local GM and total GM and WM volume and correlations between GM and WM volumes and five behavioural measures. We found no significant group differences after corrections for multiple comparisons although total WM volume was lower in the group of dyslexics when age was partialled out. We presented an overview of uncorrected clusters of voxels (p < 0.05, cluster size k > 200) with reduced or increased GM volume. We found four significant correlations between factors of dyslexia representing various behavioural measures and the clusters found in the first analysis. In the whole sample, a factor related to performances in spelling correlated negatively with GM volume in the left posterior cerebellum. Within the group of dyslexics, a factor related to performances in Dutch-English rhyme words correlated positively with GM volume in the left and right caudate nucleus and negatively with increased total WM volume. Most of our findings were in accordance with previous reports. A relatively new finding was the involvement of the caudate nucleus. We confirmed the multiple cognitive nature of dyslexia and suggested that experience greatly influences anatomical alterations depending on various subtypes of dyslexia, especially in a student sample.
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    • "The subjects were a subset of a group of children participating in a larger study on reading, reading disability, and reading development (Evans et al., 2013; Krafnick et al., 2011, 2014; Olulade et al., 2013a,b). Subjects with developmental dyslexia had a documented history of their reading disability, and most attended a school that specializes in the teaching of children with learning disabilities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Some arithmetic procedures, such as addition of small numbers, rely on fact retrieval mechanisms supported by left hemisphere perisylvian language areas, while others, such as subtraction, rely on procedural-based mechanisms subserved by bilateral parietal cortices. Previous work suggests that developmental dyslexia, a reading disability, is accompanied by subtle deficits in retrieval-based arithmetic, possibly because of compromised left hemisphere function. To test this prediction, we compared brain activity underlying arithmetic problem solving in children with and without dyslexia during addition and subtraction operations using a factorial design. The main effect of arithmetic operation (addition versus subtraction) for both groups combined revealed activity during addition in the left superior temporal gyrus and activity during subtraction in the bilateral intraparietal sulcus, the right supramarginal gyrus and the anterior cingulate, consistent with prior studies. For the main effect of diagnostic group (dyslexics versus controls), we found less activity in dyslexic children in the left supramarginal gyrus. Finally, the interaction analysis revealed that while the control group showed a strong response in the right supramarginal gyrus for subtraction but not for addition, the dyslexic group engaged this region for both operations. This provides physiological evidence in support of the theory that children with dyslexia, because of the disruption to left hemisphere language areas, use a less optimal route for retrieval-based arithmetic, engaging right hemisphere parietal regions typically used by good readers for procedural-based arithmetic. Our results highlight the importance of language processing for mathematical processing and illustrate that children with dyslexia have impairments that extend beyond reading.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to explore auditory cortical oscillation properties in developmental dyslexia. We recorded cortical activity in 17 dyslexic participants and 15 matched controls using simultaneous EEG and fMRI during passive viewing of an audiovisual movie. We compared the distribution of brain oscillations in the delta, theta and gamma ranges over left and right auditory cortices. In controls, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that there is a dominance of gamma oscillations in the left hemisphere and a dominance of delta-theta oscillations in the right hemisphere. In dyslexics, we did not find such an interaction, but similar oscillations in both hemispheres. Thus, our results confirm that the primary cortical disruption in dyslexia lies in a lack of hemispheric specialization for gamma oscillations, which might disrupt the representation of or the access to phonemic units.
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