Purpose: There is evidence that non-invasive brain stimulation transitorily modulates reading by facilitating the neural pathways underactive in individuals with dyslexia. The study aimed at investigating whether multiple sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) would enhance reading abilities of children and adolescents with dyslexia and whether the effect is long-lasting.
Methods: Eighteen children and adolescents with dyslexia received three 20-minute sessions a week for 6 weeks (18 sessions) of left anodal/right cathodal tDCS set at 1 mA over parieto-temporal regions combined with a cognitive training. The participants were randomly assigned to the active or the sham treatment; reading tasks (text, high and low frequency words, non-words) were used as outcome measures and collected before treatment, after treatment and one month after the end of treatment. The tolerability of tDCS was evaluated.
Results: The active group showed reduced low frequency word reading errors and non-word reading times. These positive effects were stable even one month after the end of treatment. None reported adverse effects.
Conclusions: The study shows preliminary evidence of tDCS feasibility and efficacy in improving non-words and low frequency words reading of children and adolescents with dyslexia and it opens new rehabilitative perspectives for the remediation of dyslexia.
Keywords: Brain stimulation; cognitive training; parieto-temporal regions.