Dyslexia: How to improve reading skills

Dyslexia is a multifactorial disease in particular due to genetic, biological and environmental. The 3% of school-age children is dyslexic, and difficulty reading fluently has an impact on the capacities and deadlines to assimilate the concepts also causing relational and social issues.

Speech therapy gives children the tools to manage dyslexia and educate the reading skills, but it alone is not enough to solve the trouble. Researchers of Child Neuropsychiatry Hospital Bambino Gesù, with the supervision of Dr. Deny Menghini and in collaboration with the Brain Stimulation Laboratory of the Saint Lucia Foundation, have done an experiment to test the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS ) on dyslexic children.

Dyslexia: How to improve reading skillsElectrical stimulation of low intensity so as to be imperceptible, it has proved useful inawakening the plasticity of some areas of the brain drowsy and is used for the treatment of focal epilepsy and depression. Hence, the idea to experiment with the use for dyslexia.

The researchers applied two electrodes on the scalp of 19 children and adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years, for 20 minutes 3 times a week, for 6 weeks, and initiated a double-blind experiment, neither the volunteers nor the experimenters engaged in evaluating the results knew who had received active treatment and who the placebo. It was found that children and young people with effective tDCS have shown a 60% improvement in speed and accuracy of reading .

Because transcranial direct current stimulation to become a therapy for all practical purposes, it is necessary to test its effectiveness over time, so for a much longer period than 20 minutes three times a week for about two months, but the one shown is a encouraging result for children, teens and parents living with dyslexia and related difficulties.

Finally, it is necessary to point out that, should it prove effective in the long run, it would be a co-present tDCS therapy speech therapy, not a substitute.

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