Rationale of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in the Frame of the Magnocellular Theory of Dyslexia

Razionale dell'integrazione con acidi grassi polinsaturi nell'ambito della teoria magnocellulare della dislessia.


Carlo Aleci

Service of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Turin.


Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 12(4): 1-9, 2017



Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are important structural parts of the cellular membrane and of the cytoskeleton, and are pivotal for the correct development and functioning of neurons. Magnocells are thought to be particularly vulnerable to PUFAs deficiency, due to the large extent of their plasma membrane: so, reduced availability of polyunsaturated fatty acids is argued to selectively affect the magnocellular population. Indeed, PUFAs deficiency has been reported in a consistent proportion of disabled readers. This finding has led to hypothesize this deficiency may play a main role in the reading problems of patients by hindering the normal development of their magnocellular pathway. Based on these assumption there is some evidence that dietary supplementation with a predefined combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids has a beneficial effect on the reading performance and behavior of dyslexics. Here the rationale for this line of intervention is reported. The conclusion is that supplementation of dyslexic children with PUFAs is worth to be considered, despite its effectiveness in improving their academic skills needs further clarification.

Keywords Fatty Acids, Dyslexia, Magnocellular, Supplementation



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