Italian researchers were able to temporarily improve reading in adults with dyslexia by stimulating neural pathways known to be underactive in dyslexic readers.
When they read, Dyslexic individuals produce less activation in brain regions responsible for mapping sounds to print, and applying phonetic rules. Researchers tested the idea that non-invasive stimulation of the underactive reading pathways would result in improved reading accuracy and fluency. Indeed, when applied prior to a reading task, dyslexics read faster and more accurately after these pathways were stimulated.
These findings are similar to previous studies using the same devices, working with stroke patients who had lost language abilities. Stimulation of language pathways prior to language testing led to patients naming more objects.
This is a preliminary study of a small number of adults, but the research shows promise. This was the first study that demonstrated improvement in reading performance based on direct neural pathway stimulation.