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讀寫困難/學習障礙
Dyslexia

The word "dyslexia" comes from the Greek, meaning "difficulty with words". Dyslexia is a language difficulty in which tiny differences in brain organisation lead to problems in processing certain types of information, such as handling verbal codes or symbols.

It is a complex learning difficulty because of the number of characteristics associated with it, such as lack of phonological awareness, poor short-term memory or confusion about left and right, which vary from individual to individual. It is a specific type of learning difficulty, with sufferers experiencing persistent and sometimes significant problems with reading, writing, spelling and even mathematics and musical notation, despite normal intelligence. However, the person may not have difficulties in other areas - many people with dyslexia are extremely creative, think laterally and have excellent problem-solving skills.

Dyslexia affects all types of people, of differing intellect, ethnicity and social class. About 10% of the population are affected by some form of dyslexia, with 4% being severely dyslexic. Whilst the effects of dyslexia can be overcome by specialist teaching, resources to cater adequately for these children are lacking.

Dyslexia is biological in origin and on this basis scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of treating individuals with a combination of EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and evening primrose oil, with remarkable results. Fatty acids have been shown to improve memory, concentration and general brain function, thus providing further support for the use of omega product to help with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Definitions of Dyslexia
Dyslexia manifests itself in many forms. The dyslexic person may experience the following:

-problems reading, spelling and writing, as well as with written number skills
-lack of motivation
-emotional disturbance
-sensory impairment
-difficulty concentrating
-problems with short-term memory
-poor personal organization
-problems following sequences, such as the months of the year and the alphabet.

Given all these obstacles a dyslexic child has to overcome, progress at school can be hindered. One answer to these problems lies in the biological origins of this condition. Scientific theory points towards problems with fatty acid metabolism and resulting deficiencies of fatty acids as a contributory factor in the cause of Dyslexia. This could help explain why Dyslexia runs in families. Genetic studies suggest a heritability rate of around 50%.

How Fatty Acids Help Dyslexia
Several scientific studies have revealed a correlation between fatty acid deficiency and Dyslexia. In a study by Dr Richardson and colleagues, high-tech MRI brain scanning (3IP spectroscopy) revealed abnormal brain lipid metabolism in dyslexia. The significance of this lies in the problems thereby associated with fatty acid conversion in the brain, from simple fatty acids into their long-chain derivatives, crucial for feeding the brain.

Dr Richardson explains: "Scientific evidence suggests that imbalances or deficiencies of certain highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) may contribute to a range of behavioural and learning difficulties including ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autistic spectrum disorders. This could help to explain the strong familial associations between these conditions and their common overlap within the same individuals.

"Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids are more likely to help than omega-6 (although both are important for optimal brain function). Of the omega-3 fatty acids, the latest evidence indicates that it is EPA - not DHA - that is likely to be most beneficial for these purposes."

The essential function of fatty acids in the structure of the brain accounts for the role of EPA in treating conditions like Dyslexia. Research into brain structure in Dyslexic patients has revealed unusual symmetry in areas associated with language, and differences in neuron connections.

The link between fatty acid supplementation, in the form of EPA with evening primrose oil (as contained in omega product), and the treatment of Dyslexia is evidenced by the prevalence of Dyslexic individuals with a fatty acid deficiency compared with normal individuals. Studies into the supplementation of fatty acids in Dyslexic individuals have led to revelations that EPA helps visual function, a factor behind several problems associated with Dyslexia.

A good sign that fatty acid supplementation will help the dyslexic individual are physical indications of fatty acid deficiency.