Reduced brain size and gyrification in the brains of dyslexic patients

Manuel F. Casanova, Julio Araque, Jay Giedd, Judith M. Rumsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects the way in which a person acquires reading skills. The pathologic substrate of the condition has been debated in the literature. Conclusions from postmortem studies remain controversial because series have been based on few and often ill-characterized cases. The present article expands on one of the reported neuropathologic findings in dyslexia, that is, wider minicolumns. Measurements were made of magnetic resonance images in a series of 16 dyslexic and 14 age- and sex-matched controls. Dyslexic patients had significantly smaller total cerebral volume (P = .014) and reduced gyrification index (P = .021). No changes were noted in cortical thickness, the ratio of gray to white matter, or the cross-sectional areas of the corpus callosum and medulla oblongata. The findings, although not conclusive, are in keeping with a minicolumnar defect in dyslexia. The decreased gyrification and preserved cortical thickness can alter the information processing capacity of the brain by providing a greater degree of cortical integration at the expense of a slower response time. The article also emphasizes the contrast between findings in dyslexia and in autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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