Acquired disorders of reading (acquired dyslexia) are common in patients with aphasia subsequent to left hemisphere stroke. Even when language functions recover sufficiently to enable the patient to return to work, an unrecovered dyslexia often interferes significantly with job performance. Patients who cannot return to work may be left with little to occupy their time; the ability to read for pleasure could make a significant difference in their quality of life. The purpose of this project is to test a set of therapy programs for the treatment of acquired dyslexia, based upon a cognitive neuropsychological model of reading. A comprehensive and detailed battery of reading and reading-related tests is used to determine the underlying impairment causing the reading deficit in each patient. This proposal focuses on three specific deficits: 1) impaired access to the visual word form from the visual modality (pure dyslexia); 2) impaired orthographic-phonologic connections (phonologic/deep dyslexia); 3) poor lector/affixed word reading in text (phonological text alexia)). A set of experimental treatment programs has been devised for each of these reading deficits. These therapy programs derive in part from cognitive models of reading, in part from differences in general approach to treatment, and in part from the results of previous treatment studies. A set of general external probe tests are administered to all subjects before and after treatment There are additional external probes for each of the three deficit types, consisting of a list of words targeted for improvement but never trained. Measures include both accuracy and speed of reading. Group studies will examine the efficacy of treatments that have been successful in prior single case studies, and in some instances will compare the efficacy of two treatments with each other. Single case studies will be implemented to explore new treatment protocols or variations on old treatment protocols. Treatment programs are evaluated for efficacy by comparing the accuracy and speed of reading the treatment-specific probe words pre- and post-treatment, and examining performance on the general external probes pre- and post-treatment. The results of this project will increase our understanding of reading and its breakdown, leading to more effective methods of teaching reading to both normal and developmentally dyslexic children, in addition to providing a scientific basis for the choice of effective intervention strategies for the treatment of acquired dyslexia.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes 3 (BBBP)
Program Officer
Quatrano, Louis A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Georgetown University
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Mellem, Monika S; Bastiaansen, Marcel C M; Pilgrim, Lea K et al. (2012) Word class and context affect alpha-band oscillatory dynamics in an older population. Front Psychol 3:97
Lott, Susan Nitzberg; Carney, Aimee Syms; Glezer, Laurie S et al. (2010) Overt use of a tactile-kinesthetic strategy shifts to covert processing in rehabilitation of letter-by-letter reading. Aphasiology 24:1424-1442
Lacey, Elizabeth H; Lott, S N; Snider, S F et al. (2010) Multiple Oral Re-reading treatment for alexia: The parts may be greater than the whole. Neuropsychol Rehabil 20:601-23
Lott, Susan Nitzberg; Sperling, Anne J; Watson, Nora L et al. (2009) Repetition priming in oral text reading: a therapeutic strategy for phonologic text alexia. Aphasiology 23:659-675
Kurland, Jacquie; Cortes, Carlos R; Wilke, Marko et al. (2008) Neural Mechanisms Underlying Learning following Semantic Mediation Treatment in a case of Phonologic Alexia. Brain Imaging Behav 2:147
Lott, Susan Nitzberg; Sample, Diane M; Oliver, Robyn T et al. (2008) A patient with phonologic alexia can learn to read ""much"" from ""mud pies"". Neuropsychologia 46:2515-23
Friedman, R B; Sample, D M; Lott, S N (2002) The role of level of representation in the use of paired associate learning for rehabilitation of alexia. Neuropsychologia 40:223-34
Bokde, A L; Tagamets, M A; Friedman, R B et al. (2001) Functional interactions of the inferior frontal cortex during the processing of words and word-like stimuli. Neuron 30:609-17
Tagamets, M A; Novick, J M; Chalmers, M L et al. (2000) A parametric approach to orthographic processing in the brain: an fMRI study. J Cogn Neurosci 12:281-97
Friedman, R B; Lott, S N (2000) Rapid word identification in pure alexia is lexical but not semantic. Brain Lang 72:219-37

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications