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What do Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, and Tom Cruise all have in common?

They all are (or were) dyslexic.


Around 4% of the population is severely dyslexic and another 6% have difficulties with words. Dyslexia is found in people from all backgrounds, cultures and levels of intellectual ability. People with dyslexia can learn extremely effectively but often need a slightly different approach.


How are people with dyslexia different?

Someone with dyslexia is likely to misread words and have difficulties spelling, reading and writing and may have difficulty organising and sequencing their time and thoughts.


However people with dyslexia are also likely to be creative and innovative thinkers, excelling in problem-solving and lateral thinking.


Does dyslexia run in families?

New results from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, UK have proved that dyslexia is an inherited condition.



‘One of the best predictors that a child is going to be dyslexic is that their mother or the father is dyslexic’.



The group have found a very small region on chromosome 6 involved in dyslexia. This region contains only 3 genes, one of which produces a protein specifically found in the brain.


The group is now working to find out what this protein does, and how it might be involved in altering the brain development of dyslexics.



Are you dyslexic?

If you think you might be dyslexic, try the test offered by the British dyslexic association.


Take the adult’s test



Brain scans and dyslexia

There is now conclusive evidence that the areas of the brain that process written language work differently in people with dyslexia.


It is likely the angular gyrus is involved (labelled AG in this brain scan). The angular gyrus translates the mass of words and letters we encounter in day-to-day life into language.

Scientists have scanned people’s brains as they read, and discovered that generally people activate their angular gyrus when they read. In contrast, dyslexics under-activate these pathways as they read.


The researchers suspect that this part of the brain does not function optimally in dyslexics.

Image by Dr Guinevere Eden, Georgetown University


Click here for more information


Dyslexia manifests itself in three ways -: difficulty analysing sounds, difficulty in naming things rapidly, and difficulties with visual perception such as keeping text stable on a page.



Click here for research hoping to improve these difficulties:

Coloured glasses and eye movements in dyslexic children


Can fish oils improve brain development?


The latest in genetic research


For more information, and advice on dyslexia, click here.