The iReadMore trial was a phase II clinical trial testing whether the iReadMore app improved single word reading in 23 people with chronic central alexia (a word reading disorder in aphasia).
Medical Research Council (MR/K022563/1)
The iReadMore trial had four main aims:
- To identify if using the iReadMore app had a positive impact on the single word reading speed and accuracy of users.
- To identify if transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, targeted at the left frontal region) improved word reading accuracy and speed when applied concurrently with iReadMore use.
- To investigate the effect of iReadMore on the reading network of central alexia patients using magnetoencephalography scanning.
- Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging, to investigate the relationship between the area of brain affected by stroke and i) participants reading ability before training and ii) how much the participant’s reading ability improved after training.
Design and Methods
A multiple baseline, repeated-measures crossover design with six time points (T1–T6) was used. Participant’s completed two 4-week therapy blocks. In each block they completed 35 hours of iReadMore training. Half the participant’s received anodal tDCS in the first therapy block and half the participants received sham (placebo) tDCS. Participant’s received the remaining stimulation type in the second therapy block. MRI and MEG scans were performed before and after the first therapy block.
- This study demonstrated that iReadMore significantly improved the word reading accuracy and speed for trained items in participants with central alexia. Now that the iReadMore has been shown to be effective in a clinical trial, it is now in development for general release on the internet.
- This was the first group study to demonstrate a significant effect of tDCS on the reading accuracy of patients with central alexia.
- Through using MEG scanning to analyse the ways in which the reading network changed in response to therapy, we have added to our understanding of the mechanisms by which iReadMore therapy may be effective.
- We have demonstrated that both lesion location (the part of the brain affected by the stroke) and demographic (e.g. age) and behavioural factors (e.g. pre-training reading ability) are important in predicting participants response to iReadMore training.
Prof. Alex Leff (Chief Investigator)
Prof. Jenny Crinion
Dr Zoe Woodhead
Dr Oscar Aguilar
Dr Sheila Kerry
Date of completion