The brains of three women with dyslexia were examined at the Dyslexia Research Laboratory, Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. The findings were similar to those reported previously from the same laboratory in four men with developmental dyslexia. The planum temporale was symmetrical, multiple foci of cerebrocortical glial scarring were present in two, and all three cases showed brain warts, molecular layer ectopias, and focal dysplasia. Two women had primary brain neoplasms and two showed small angiomas. The microscopic abnormalities were dated to the periods of late neural migration and cortical maturation. A causal connection between the pathoanatomical findings and the cognitive disorder could not be established. However, it is postulated that the dyslexic individual begins with a familial predisposition to dyslexia which is expressed through a propensity to develop symmetrical temporal plana. The presence of many foci of microdysgenesis in the territory of perforating cortical arterioles suggests the possibility of a microangiopathic etiological process. [1]

COMMENT. The authors invoke an immunopathogenic mechanism for the cortical scars and neuronal ectopias seen in their neuropathological studies of dyslexics. They cite systemic lupus erythematosus in the mother as a possible cause for the microvascular cerebral pathology in the dyslexic offspring. The multifocal microscopic myelinated scars demonstrated in the three dyslexic women subjects were considered similar to the cortical lesions of systemic lupus erythematosus and supportive of an immunopathogenic mechanism for dyslexia.