Long-lasting improvement following tDCS treatment combined with a training for reading in children and adolescents with dyslexia

Floriana Costanzo, Serena Rossi, Cristiana Varuzza, Pamela Varvara, Stefano Vicari, Deny Menghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Noninvasive brain stimulation transiently modulates reading ability in individuals with dyslexia by facilitating the underactive neural pathways in them. However, its long-term effects have not been determined. This study confirmed the ameliorative effects of multiple sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) combined with a training for reading on the reading abilities of children and adolescents with dyslexia and examined whether they are long-lasting. Twenty-six children and adolescents with dyslexia received 3 20-min sessions per week for 6 weeks (18 sessions) of left anodal/right cathodal tDCS, set to 1 mA, over the parieto-temporal regions, combined with training for reading. The participants were randomly assigned to receive active or sham treatment. Reading measures (text, high- and low-frequency words, non-words) were recorded before and immediately after the treatment and 1 and 6 months later. The long-term tolerability to tDCS was also evaluated. The active group received long-lasting benefits in reading. Specifically, the non-word reading efficiency index improved at every time point, as did the low-frequency word reading efficiency index at 1 and 6 months after the end of the treatment. No differences emerged in the sham group. No long-term adverse effects were documented. This study provides evidence of persistent improvements in reading in children and adolescents with dyslexia, constituting a new rehabilitative approach for the remediation of dyslexia.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychologia
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 14 2018

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