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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Combined Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation with Cognitive Training in Girls with Rett Syndrome

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, Via Bivona, 98100 Messina, Italy
Centro AIRETT Ricerca e Innovazione (CARI), Research and Innovation Airett Center, 37100 Verona, Italy
Department of Health Sciences, Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, Epilepsy Center, San Paolo Hospital, Universitàdegli Studi di Milano, 20142 Milan, Italy
Aldo Ravelli Research Center for Neurotechnology and Experimental Neurotheraputics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Milan, 20142 Milan, Italy
Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, G. Martino Hospital, University of Messina, Via Consolare Pompea, 46046 Messina, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(5), 276;
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 18 April 2020 / Accepted: 22 April 2020 / Published: 2 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Collection on Cognitive Neuroscience)
Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) combined with traditional rehabilitative techniques has not been widely applied to Rett Syndrome (RTT). The aim of this study was to examine the effects of combined cognitive traditional training with tDCS applied to attention and language measures in subjects with RTT. Methods: 31 subjects with RTT were randomly allocated into two groups: non-sham tDCS (n = 18) and sham tDCS (n = 13). The former received the integrated intervention non-sham tDCS plus cognitive empowerment during the treatment phase. The latter received sham stimulation plus cognitive empowerment. All participants underwent neurological and cognitive assessment to evaluate attention and language measures: before integrated treatment (pre-test phase), at the conclusion of the treatment (post-test phase), and at 1 month after the conclusion of the treatment (follow-up phase). Results: the results indicated longer attention time in the non-sham tDCS group compared to the sham tDCS group with a stable trend also in the follow-up phase; an increase of the number of vowel/phoneme sounds in the non-sham tDCS group; and an improvement in the neurophysiological parameters in the non-sham tDCS group. Conclusions: This study supports the use of tDCS as a promising and alternative approach in the RTT rehabilitation field. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rett syndrome; tDCS; attention; language; cognitive training Rett syndrome; tDCS; attention; language; cognitive training
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Fabio, R.A.; Gangemi, A.; Semino, M.; Vignoli, A.; Priori, A.; Canevini, M.P.; Di Rosa, G.; Caprì, T. Effects of Combined Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation with Cognitive Training in Girls with Rett Syndrome. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 276.

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