The neurobiological foundations of learning disabilities

A. Carboni-Román, D. del Río, A. Capilla, F. Maestú, T. Ortiz [REV NEUROL 2006;42 (Supl. 2):S171-S175] PMID: 16555213 DOI: OPEN ACCESS
Volumen 42 | Number S02 | Nº of views of the article 18.055 | Nº of PDF downloads 5.383 | Article publication date 13/02/2006
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ABSTRACT Artículo en español English version
INTRODUCTION Learning disabilities constitute a heterogeneous group of disorders that involve significant alterations in different cognitive domains (acquisition and use of language, reasoning, mathematical skills, visuospatial abilities, and so forth) that are not accounted for by a low level of intelligence, inadequate sociocultural development or lack of academic opportunities. They result from an alteration in basic psychological processes, developmentally linked to an alteration in the central nervous system. Current functional neuroimaging techniques have made it possible to develop a new type of approach to the neurofunctional foundations underlying these disorders, especially with regard to difficulties in the realm of reading/ writing (developmental dyslexia) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which have their highest incidence among the infantile population of school-age children. DEVELOPMENT. Neuroimaging studies have revealed a pattern of atypical activity in both kinds of disorders. In the case of dyslexia, alterations have been observed in the perisylvian circuits that underlie the mechanisms involved in reading skills. Studies into ADHD suggest a fronto-striatal dysfunction linked to the difficulties encountered to achieve inhibitory control, as well as alterations in the inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortex.

CONCLUSIONS Functional neuroimaging studies have shown that the clinical manifestations of these disorders are not only due to a dysfunction in specific areas of the brain, but also to alterations in the pattern of connectivity.
KeywordsADHDDevelopmental disordersDyslexiaLearning disabilitiesNeurofunctional basesNeuroimaging CategoriesNeuroimagenNeuropsiquiatría
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