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Randomized trial of iReadMore word reading training and brain stimulation in central alexia

Woodhead, ZVJ; Kerry, SJ; Aguilar, OM; Ong, YH; Hogan, JS; Pappa, K; Leff, AP; (2018) Randomized trial of iReadMore word reading training and brain stimulation in central alexia. Brain 10.1093/brain/awy138. Green open access

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Abstract

Central alexia is an acquired reading disorder co-occurring with a generalized language deficit (aphasia). We tested the impact of a novel training app, ‘iReadMore’, and anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the left inferior frontal gyrus, on word reading ability in central alexia. The trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02062619). Twenty-one chronic stroke patients with central alexia participated. A baseline-controlled, repeated-measures, crossover design was used. Participants completed two 4-week blocks of iReadMore training, one with anodal stimulation and one with sham stimulation (order counterbalanced between participants). Each block comprised 34 h of iReadMore training and 11 stimulation sessions. Outcome measures were assessed before, between and after the two blocks. The primary outcome measures were reading ability for trained and untrained words. Secondary outcome measures included semantic word matching, sentence reading, text reading and a self-report measure. iReadMore training resulted in an 8.7% improvement in reading accuracy for trained words (95% confidence interval 6.0 to 11.4; Cohen’s d = 1.38) but did not generalize to untrained words. Reaction times also improved. Reading accuracy gains were still significant (but reduced) 3 months after training cessation. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (compared to sham), delivered concurrently with iReadMore, resulted in a 2.6% (95% confidence interval −0.1 to 5.3; d = 0.41) facilitation for reading accuracy, both for trained and untrained words. iReadMore also improved performance on the semantic word-matching test. There was a non-significant trend towards improved self-reported reading ability. However, no significant changes were seen at the sentence or text reading level. In summary, iReadMore training in post-stroke central alexia improved reading ability for trained words, with good maintenance of the therapy effect. Anodal stimulation resulted in a small facilitation (d = 0.41) of learning and also generalized to untrained items.

Type: Article
Title: Randomized trial of iReadMore word reading training and brain stimulation in central alexia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awy138
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy138
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Central alexia, aphasia, computer-based rehabilitation, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), reading therapy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10046542
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