UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


New website to help stroke survivors learn to read again

14 June 2010

A groundbreaking online tool launched today by UCL promises to help people whose sight has been damaged by stroke to learn to read again.

A medical and technological collaboration between the UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL’s Multimedia team has developed ‘Read-Right’, a therapeutic website designed to help people with Hemianopic Alexia (HA) to improve and test their reading ability from their own homes.

Dr Alex Leff, consultant neurologist at the Institute of Neurology (Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience) and lead researcher on Read-Right, said: “The problem for patients with HA is getting access to the therapy materials. Using the internet is the obvious solution. If it works, we could open the door to many more behavioural therapies being delivered in this way.”

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HA damages a person’s sight, usually after a stroke or brain injury, and results in the loss of half of a person’s field of vision. This makes reading difficult and slow. Some people give up reading or even lose their jobs because they can’t read at a sufficient pace.

Read-Right enables people with HA to read scrolling text, which is easier to read than static writing on a page because it creates an involuntary eye movement. The therapy has been shown to improve a person’s ability to read normal text when used as part of a rehabilitation programme. Preliminary findings show that as little as 7 to 14 hours of therapy over several weeks could make reading easier for people with HA.

The website is free to use and offers a wide range of reading matter, from classic literature such as Sherlock Holmes and current fiction including Harry Potter to up-to-the-minute BBC news articles.

Read more & watch video >> UCL News | Read-Right | Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging