New research from the University of Geneva shows that adults with dyslexia can read more fluently with a non-invasive electrotherapy treatment called Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS).
Reading requires us to know phonics of a language, how those phonics combine to make words, and then recall these in the blink of an eye when given the written form. Dyslexia is a disconnect between recognizing a word and delivering the corresponding sound. This might be caused by neural activity in the audio cortex, which should operate at 30 Hz, to fall out of sync.
Electrical activity carries messages from the body to the brain, and back, in a cycle. The application of tACS can synchronize neural feedback loops so the brain can function more efficiently, and success has been reported in targeting neural activity for Tinnitus, Depression, and Schizophrenia.
During the University of Geneva study, participants- adults with and without dyslexia- wore earphones while they completed various reading tests. The earphones delivered silent gamma waves, but the ear still feels these waves and passes them on to the brain. The study showed that channeling 30Hz gamma waves to dyslexic participants while they read immediately improved their reading fluency. In contrast, some participants without dyslexia read less fluently with the electrotherapy.
The researchers are now concerned with using this technique with dyslexic children and testing whether the improvement is sustained over time.