Dyslexia: New “magic lamp” could help dyslexics

Cells in the eye may be responsible for dyslexia

People with dyslexia, also known as reading-spelling disorder or reading-spelling weakness (LRS), have massive problems converting spoken language into writing or vice versa. Even though LRS is a long-known problem with around 700 million people worldwide, the reasons for the occurrence have not yet been fully researched.

French physicists Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars from the University of Rennes have gained new knowledge about the disease. The scientists published the results of their study in the journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B". According to the study, a possible cause of dyslexia is the light-processing cells in the eye.

Dyslexia is in the eye of the beholder

Le Floch and Ropars report that the light-processing cells are arranged asymmetrically in people without reading and spelling problems. In patients with LRS, these cells are instead arranged symmetrically. This symmetry could possibly lead to a reflection of the seen images in the brain, the scientists report. "The lack of asymmetry in the eyes could be the biological and anatomical basis of reading and spelling disorders," the authors of the study explain.

The LED magic lamp

The researchers are also presenting a possible treatment that will help dyslexics in the future. An LED lamp is the central element in this treatment. This lamp flickers so quickly that it is not visible to the eye. The subjects in the study were exposed to this flickering light. The aim of the method is to eliminate one of the images sent to the brain and thus prevent reflection. The participants in the study have already spoken of a “magic lamp”, the scientists report.

Patience is still required

However, long-term studies for this method are still missing. Further tests must still clarify possible successes or risks before the "magic lamp" can flicker across the board. If this therapy turns out to be successful, it could help around ten percent of the world population to combat LRS. (fp)

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