4myLearn Learning Challenge Model

Level 1: Biological (Internal)

Level 1 deals with interactions between genetic makeup and the immediate chemical and physical environment that promotes expression of some genes and development of select brain modules while hindering the development of others. The most striking feature of LD is that that it is often accompanied by relative strengths in some areas of cognition, while challenges in others.

Genes Symptoms of LD arise from a combination of "normal" genes interacting with the environment. Each gene contributes a relatively small effect in increasing the risk of the symptoms. No single gene directly regulates any core symptom.

Different genetic "cognitive styles" confer thinking and information-processing advantages. Labeled kids come more often from families of leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians, engineers, and scientists. In ASD, 12.5% of fathers and 21.2% of the grandfathers are engineers. More than 30% of entrepreneurs identify themselves as being dyslexic. Many people are relutant to identify they are LD, so the additional percentage not self-identifed is unknown. Many of US fore founders had symptoms within syndrome mix.

Labeled kids, naturally, have the STEM and leadership potential that the US claims are lacking in today's workforce.
Neuro-transmitter Balance LD brain architectures have differences in distribution, density, and strength of neurotransmitters and receptors in the glutamate/GABA, dopamine/serotonin/epinephrine/norepinephrine, and beta-endorphines/oxytocin systems. Differences in the same families of neurotransmitters are noted across the range of learning challenge diagnoses, and neurotransmitter family involvement differs between individuals with the same diagnosis. So disparate combinations of neurotransmitter differences lead to the same symptoms. Though, there appears to be a consistent involvement of the dopamine system which impacts symbolic learning, multi-sensory and motor integration. There also appears to be consistent improvement of symptoms with increases in positive natural oxytocin.

Humans have chemical asymmetries with the specialized functional roles of the two brain hemispheres. The left hemisphere is relatively rich in processes that depend on dopamine and the right hemispheres, noradrenaline. LD kids have an asymmetry of electrical activity between left and right brain hemispheres, with higher-than-normal level of activity in areas in the higher-functioning dominate brain hemisphere.
Neuro Pathways The brain grows sequentially from bottom up. At birth, the brain stem, the least complex area, has prewired circuits supporting regulation of breathing, heart-beat, blood pressure, metabolism, and other vital functions. The cerebral cortex, the most complex area, has the neuronal architecture in place, but few pathways.

The cortex has many specialized circuits. A few are prewired as seed modules for key basic processing, such as mirror neurons which form the foundation social behavior and Broca's area for phonological processing. Most of the cortex is unclaimed at birth. Stimulation of the basic seed modules leads to recruitment and wiring of new modules in the unclaimed cortex which allow chaining of higher abilities.

The prewired modules at birth remain even if not stimulated. Recruited then abandoned neurons die off. Strong capabilities get exercised and stronger, some weaker capabilities do not develop. Pathways can be established with the prewired modules through explicit training. This has been seen in mirror neurons when ASD kids learn to imitate others and Broca's area when dyslexic kids learn to read. Kids with LD frequently have complex information processing in the visual-spatial domain, but only basic processing in symbolic domains.
Immune System The neuro and immune systems are tightly coupled. LD kids have increased environmental sensitivities and allergies. People with ASD, PDD, ADD/ADHD, OCD, and other related labels tend to have chronic active, ongoing neuro-inflammation. Greater than 95% of research studies have shown a positive association between ASD and oxidative stress and immune dysregulation. 
Digestive System  Sixty to eighty percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system. Up to 85 percent of children with ASD, ADHD, and dyslexia also suffer from some kind of gastrointestinal distress such as leaky gut syndrome, food and food additive sensitivities, chronic constipation, or inflammatory bowel disease that in turn impact the learning and behavior.