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Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 1;59(3):3021-32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.024. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

Maternal history of reading difficulty is associated with reduced language-related gray matter in beginning readers.

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1
Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral, Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 401 Quarry Rd., Stanford, CA 94305-5795, USA. jmblack@stanford.edu

Abstract

Family history and poor preliteracy skills (referred to here as familial and behavioral risk, respectively) are critical predictors of developmental dyslexia. This study systematically investigated the independent contribution of familial and behavioral risks on brain structures, which had not been explored in past studies. We also examined the differential effects of maternal versus paternal history on brain morphometry, and familial risk dimensionally versus categorically, which were also novel aspects of the study. We assessed 51 children (5 to 6 years of age) with varying degrees of familial and behavioral risks for developmental dyslexia and examined associations with brain morphometry. We found that greater maternal history of reading disability was associated with smaller bilateral prefrontal and parieto-temporal gray, but not white matter volumes. Regressing out behavioral risk, socioeconomic status, and maternal education and other confounds did not change the results. No such relationship was observed for paternal reading history and behavioral risk. Results of cortical surface area and thickness further showed that there was a significant negative relationship between cortical surface area (but not thickness) and greater severity of maternal history, in particular within the left inferior parietal lobule, suggesting prenatal influence of maternal history on children's brain morphometry. The results suggested greater maternal, possibly prenatal, influence on language-related brain structures. These results help to guide future neuroimaging research focusing on environmental and genetic influences and provide new information that may help predict which child will develop dyslexia in the future.

PMID:
22023744
PMCID:
PMC3628690
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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