Stroke – March 2011

There is a new article in Stroke March 2011 edition looking at naming time.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improves Naming Reaction Time in Fluent Aphasia: A Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Study

Stroke. 42(3):819-821, March 2011.

Abstract Background and Purpose-: Previous evidence suggests that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS) applied to the left hemisphere can improve aphasic participants’ ability to name common objects. The current study further examined this issue in a more tightly controlled experiment in participants with fluent aphasia.

Methods-: We examined the effect of A-tDCS on reaction time during overt picture naming in 8 chronic stroke participants. Anode electrode placement targeted perilesional brain regions that showed the greatest activation on a pretreatment functional MRI scan administered during overt picture naming with the reference cathode electrode placed on the contralateral forehead. A-tDCS (1 mA; 20-minute) was compared with sham tDCS (S-tDCS) in a crossover design. Participants received 10 sessions of computerized anomia treatment; 5 sessions included A-tDCS and 5 included S-tDCS.

Results-: Coupling A-tDCS with behavioral language treatment reduced reaction time during naming of trained items immediately posttreatment (Z=1.96, P=0.025) and at subsequent testing 3 weeks later (Z=2.52, P=0.006).

Conclusions-: A-tDCS administered during language treatment decreased processing time during picture naming by fluent aphasic participants. Additional studies combining A-tDCS, an inexpensive method with no reported serious side effects, with behavioral language therapy are recommended.

For the full article, click Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.

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One thought on “Stroke – March 2011

  1. dbandur says:

    Interesting article. I wonder if the patients demonstrated any observable changes in language performance post treatment, as there were no generalization effects to untreated items. In that respect, I find the title perhaps a bit misleading.

    In their previous work, the authors found improvement with tDS in only 4/10 patients, although their stimulation site was frontal and the lesions more varied. Perhaps, as with other interventions for aphasia, it is a matter of being diligent in applying specific approaches , to patients with similar language deficits.

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