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Visual Function Deficits Up in Developmental Dyslexia

Increased prevalence of deficits in visual function versus typically developing school-age children

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FRIDAY, July 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- School-aged children with developmental dyslexia (DD) more frequently have visual function deficits than typically developing (TD) children, according to a study published online July 19 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Aparna Raghuram, O.D., Ph.D., from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues examined the frequency of visual deficits in children with DD versus a control group of TD readers in a prospective uncontrolled observational study. Participants included 29 children with DD and 33 TD children.

The researchers found that accommodation deficits were more frequent in the DD than the TD group (55 versus 9 percent; difference, 46 percent; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 25 to 67 percent; P < 0.001). For ocular motor tracking, 62 and 15 percent of children in the DD and TD groups, respectively, had scores in the impaired range (difference, 47 percent; 95 percent CI, 25 to 69 percent; P < 0.001). Vergence deficits occurred in 34 and 15 percent of children in the DD and TD groups, respectively (difference, 19 percent; 95 percent CI, −2.2 to 41 percent; P = 0.08). Overall, 79 and 33 percent of children in the DD and TD groups, respectively, had deficits in one or more domains of visual function (difference, 46 percent; 95 percent CI, 23 to 69 percent; P < 0.001).

"These findings suggest that deficits in visual function are far more prevalent in school-aged children with DD than in TD readers, but the possible cause and clinical relevance of these deficits are uncertain," the authors write.

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