BIDMC Dyslexia Research Lab celebrates 25th anniversary

October 16, 2007

BOSTON -- In the 25 years since establishing the Dyslexia Research Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Albert Galaburda, MD, has witnessed a dramatic transformation in thinking among both scientists and the public.

"Over the years, there have been a host of explanations offered to explain dyslexia," says Galaburda, Chief of the Division of Behavioral Neurology at BIDMC whose work has played a key role in influencing the field. "Impaired vision, head injuries, inner-ear disorders and even laziness have all been attributed to the reading disorder," he notes.

It wasn't until the early 1980s that Galaburda and members of his laboratory discovered that the brains of individuals with dyslexia actually involve a pattern of structural and cellular abnormalities that account for the reading disorder.

"Now, with the increasing availability of sophisticated imaging technologies and the sequencing of the human genome, we have made tremendous progress in understanding the neurological basis for this disability," he adds. "The past five years have significantly increased our understanding of the brain and how we learn."

On October 24, Galaburda and a group of leaders in the field of dyslexia research, will discuss recent discoveries - including newly identified genes associated with the developmental disorder - as well as the latest thinking among educators regarding this reading disability.

The day-long web conference, sponsored by The Dyslexia Foundation will be broadcast live from BIDMC's Dyslexia Research Laboratory, beginning at 9:30 am, Wednesday, October 24. Other participants will include Drake Duane, MD, Anthony Monaco, PhD, Ken Pugh, PhD, Joan Mele-McCarthy, DA, Tami Katzir, PhD, and Maryanne Wolf, PhD.

"This web-cast conference is geared toward informing parents, teachers and students on the latest in neuroscience research, and to explain and demonstrate the most recent evidence-based reading practices for all children," adds Dyslexia Foundation President Will Baker.

The conference broadcast will be available on DVD and will be posted to the Dyslexia Foundation website until February 2008.
-end-
To learn more or to register on-line, please visit TheDyslexiaFoundation.org.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.harvard.edu.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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