Electric Shocks Help Dyslexic Children Read Faster

dyslexia electric shock dyslexic reading test
Reading rates of dyslexic children increased by 13 percent when they were given mild electric shocks, a study has shown. CC/ B Braseaux

Dyslexic children who receive mild electric shocks to their scalp are able to read faster, a study has shown.

Researchers at Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome, Italy, carried out a six-week trial on 18 children and teenagers with dyslexia.

"Such a large group of dyslexic children has never been involved in an experiment like this before," Deny Menghini, one of the experts who took part in the tests, told The Times. "We used one milliampere of current, which is equal to the electricity that powers a single Christmas tree light.

"Reading rates accelerated by about 13 percent, which is like the benefit of a year's schooling in six weeks."

According to Menghini, the amount of electricity used in the tests was not enough for the children to feel, other than a small vibration at the start of each session.

The subjects experienced no side effects and six months after the tests the children were still reading at the faster rate. "Shocked" children were also better at reading uncommon words and 60 percent faster at reading invented words.

Despite this, some doctors have expressed concerns about using electric shocks to help dyslexic children improve their reading skills.

Sue Fowler, co-founder of the Dyslexia Research Trust in the U.K., said: "There are lots of ways to increase reading speed that are not so dramatic, like using yellow and blue lenses in glasses, which can help stop words moving around."