Date of Award

3-30-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Bennett Arthur Shaywitz MD

Abstract

Dyslexia is a common condition among both children and adults in the United States. Its prevalence is estimated to be between 5% and 17% of school-aged children. This chronic condition is characterized by a difficulty in reading unanticipated in children with otherwise average or above average intelligence, education and incentive. Although adults with a specific reading disability have demonstrated diminished diffusion anistropy, this relationship between reading ability and white matter connectivity is relatively unexplored in children. In this study, diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was utilized to compare the white matter connectivity in three groups of children with diverse reading ability- dysfluent and inaccurate (n= 42), dysfluent and accurate (n= 69) and nonimpaired (n= 23) children. ANOVA statistical analysis was performed detect any significant group differences in anisotropic indices between the three groups of readers. In contrast to past studies, our study did not reveal any statistically significant differences in fractional anisotropy, fiber coherence index and mean diffusivity between dysfluent and inaccurate, dysfluent but accurate, and non-impaired readers.

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