Dyslexia is a very common type of learning disability that is said to affect 5-10% of the population. Dyslexia can range from very mild symptoms (that often go undetected) to very severe dehabilitating cases. The problem often goes undetected in young children. Individuals with dyslexia are often unfairly judged as being “slow” when the truth is that usually isn’t the case and they are actually quite intelligent.
Dyslexia is a very broad term that pertains to different learning disabilities. It can affect visual and auditory perceptions as well as short term memory. The most common and well-known of the disabilities dyslexia can cause are on reading. Someone with dyslexia might describe it as “I read the paragraph but I couldn’t understand what it meant”.
Watch the following video to see what it might be like to have mild to severe Dyslexia.
What causes Dyslexia?
Like many other neurological conditions, it is not completely understood what causes Dyslexia. There are several theories and many disagreements in the medical community. One thing known for sure is that there is a lot less left hemispheric “activity” in a Dyslexic brain during tasks that require interpretation like reading.
One of the most widely accepted Dyslexia theories is the Phonological Deficit Hypothesis (PDH). The PDH summarizes Dyslexia as a malfunction in the left hemisphere of the brain where the connection of sounds to language is established. Scientists that support the PDH and believe the problem relates to either neural pathway or timing malfunctions.
Many scientists still disagree with the PDH. The PDH does not explain why poor short term memory and Dyslexia are common together. Poor coordination, motor skills and visual processing can also not be explained by the theory.
Can Nootropics Help?
Nootropics have been shown to affect a range of neurotransmitters that are important in learning and memory formations. These same neurotransmitters have great importance in reading and information processing. Without them one wouldn’t be able to function. It would be assumed, that by increasing the abundance of efficiency of these chemicals one would be able to aid the problems caused by Dyslexia.
If the PDH is correct, nootropics may have no effect on the Dyslexia. Many scientists believe the PDH is wrong and it is an effect not a cause. The key is nootropics help speed up learning and memory but if there is a malfunction in how a signal is interpreted, it may make no difference. A good analogy would be if you upgraded the speed of your computer, but the information was encrypted and couldn’t be understood. A slower less efficient computer would function just the same even though it processes information slower.
This is not to discourage ones with Dyslexia looking to treat their condition with Nootropics. Many scientists still do not agree with the above theory. The PDH cannot explain the learning, memory and coordination deficits that can be aided with the help of Nootropics.
Piracetam study for Dyslexia
There has only been one well documented study on racetam nootropics for treating Dyslexia. Results were promising. You can read the government abstract here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3305591.
More studies need to be done. The significant documented study shows great improvement in the reading and memory skills of Dyslexics when treated with Piracetam. For this case, one would say administration of Piracetam for Dyslexia could really help alleviate symptoms.
One interesting nootropic that should be studied for treating Dyslexia is PhenylpiracetamWhen or if these studies will even happen is unknown. In the end all nootropics show promise, and with more studies and knowledge of nootropics, we may be holding the key for a solution to Dyslexia.