Dyslexia Dyslexia
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with spelling, phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. In adults, dyslexia usually occurs after a brain injury or in the context of dementia. It can also be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia.

Is there any treatment?

What is the prognosis?

What research is being done?

NIH Patient Recruitment for Dyslexia Clinical Trials At NIH Clinical Center Throughout the U.S. and Worldwide NINDS Clinical Research Collaboration Trials


International Dyslexia Association
40 York Road
4th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21204
Tel: 410-296-0232

Learning Disabilities Association of America
4156 Library Road
Suite 1
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349
Tel: 412-341-1515

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support dyslexia research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat dyslexia and other learning disabilities, increasing the understanding of the biological basis of learning disabilities, and exploring the relationship between neurophysiological processes and cognitive functions with regard to reading ability.

For those with dyslexia, the prognosis is mixed. The disability affects such a wide range of people and produces such different symptoms and varying degrees of severity that predictions are hard to make. The prognosis is generally good, however, for individuals whose dyslexia is identified early, who have supportive family and friends and a strong self-image, and who are involved in a proper remediation program.

The main focus of treatment should be on the specific learning problems of affected individuals. The usual course is to modify teaching methods and the educational environment to meet the specific needs of the individual with dyslexia.