ReadClear: An Assistive Reading Tool for People Living with Posterior Cortical Atrophy

J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;71(4):1285-1295. doi: 10.3233/JAD-190335.


Background: Progressive reading impairment is an early and debilitating symptom of posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) arising from the progressive deterioration of visual processing skills.

Objective: The goal of this study was to test the effectiveness of a purpose-built reading app (ReadClear) co-produced with people living with PCA and designed to reduce the reading difficulties experienced by this population (e.g., getting lost in the page and missing words when reading).

Methods: Twenty subjects with PCA were included in a cross-over design home-based study aimed at determining whether ReadClear could 1) enhance the subjective reading experience (reading pleasantness) and 2) improve reading accuracy (reducing the number of reading errors) compared with a sham condition (a standard e-reader).

Results: Reading using ReadClear provided a better subjective reading experience than sham (p = 0.018, d = 0.5) and significantly reduced the percentage of reading errors (p < 0.0001, r = 0.82), particularly errors due to omissions (p = 0.01, r = 0.50), repeated words (p = 0.002, r = 0.69), and regressions in the text (p = 0.003, r = 0.69). We found that different kinds of reading errors were related to specific neuropsychological profiles.

Conclusion: ReadClear can assist reading in people living with PCA by reducing the number of reading errors and improving the subjective reading experience of users.

Keywords: Assistive technology; dyslexia; posterior cortical atrophy; reading.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dyslexia* / diagnosis
  • Dyslexia* / etiology
  • Dyslexia* / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / psychology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases* / therapy
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Reading
  • Self-Help Devices*