open access

Vol 47, No 5 (2013)
ARTYKUŁ ORYGINALNY
Submitted: 2012-06-23
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No effects of anodal transcranial direct stimulation on language abilities in early rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasic patients

Katarzyna Ewa Polanowska, Marcin Leśniak, Joanna Barbara Seniów, Anna Członkowska
DOI: 10.5114/ninp.2013.38221
·
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2013;47(5):414-422.

open access

Vol 47, No 5 (2013)
ARTYKUŁ ORYGINALNY
Submitted: 2012-06-23

Abstract

Background and purpose

Recent research suggests that an increased level of stroke-affected left hemisphere cortical (especially frontal) excitability is associated with better language improvement in aphasic patients. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS), increasing cortical activity, may facilitate perilesional left hemisphere recruitment to subserve language processing and enhance effects of behavioural therapy. The aim of the study (randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled) was to evaluate the effectiveness of repeated A-tDCS over Broca area as a strategy to enhance aphasia recovery during early post-stroke rehabilitation.

Material and methods

Thirty-seven participants with moderate or severe aphasia were randomized to receive 15 consecutive daily sessions of A-tDCS (1 mA, 10 min; experimental group, n = 18) or sham stimulation (1 mA, 25 s; control group, n = 19) followed by language therapy. Effects of tDCS were assessed using the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, performed before and after the rehabilitation, and three months later.

Results

The results did not confirm a positive impact of repeated A-tDCS, preceding language therapy, on language abilities in our patients. Although both groups improved after the therapy, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in either short-term or long-term tDCS effects. Effect sizes for the experimental group, at post-treatment and the 3-month follow-up, were slightly higher than in controls but insufficient to infer any beneficial influence of the applied intervention.

Conclusions

The findings do not support A-tDCS functional benefits during early rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasia. Further research is needed to explore the effectiveness of this kind of neuromodulation.

Abstract

Background and purpose

Recent research suggests that an increased level of stroke-affected left hemisphere cortical (especially frontal) excitability is associated with better language improvement in aphasic patients. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS), increasing cortical activity, may facilitate perilesional left hemisphere recruitment to subserve language processing and enhance effects of behavioural therapy. The aim of the study (randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled) was to evaluate the effectiveness of repeated A-tDCS over Broca area as a strategy to enhance aphasia recovery during early post-stroke rehabilitation.

Material and methods

Thirty-seven participants with moderate or severe aphasia were randomized to receive 15 consecutive daily sessions of A-tDCS (1 mA, 10 min; experimental group, n = 18) or sham stimulation (1 mA, 25 s; control group, n = 19) followed by language therapy. Effects of tDCS were assessed using the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, performed before and after the rehabilitation, and three months later.

Results

The results did not confirm a positive impact of repeated A-tDCS, preceding language therapy, on language abilities in our patients. Although both groups improved after the therapy, there were no statistically significant differences between groups in either short-term or long-term tDCS effects. Effect sizes for the experimental group, at post-treatment and the 3-month follow-up, were slightly higher than in controls but insufficient to infer any beneficial influence of the applied intervention.

Conclusions

The findings do not support A-tDCS functional benefits during early rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasia. Further research is needed to explore the effectiveness of this kind of neuromodulation.

Get Citation

Keywords

aphasia, stroke, transcranial direct current stimulation

About this article
Title

No effects of anodal transcranial direct stimulation on language abilities in early rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasic patients

Journal

Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska

Issue

Vol 47, No 5 (2013)

Pages

414-422

DOI

10.5114/ninp.2013.38221

Bibliographic record

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2013;47(5):414-422.

Keywords

aphasia
stroke
transcranial direct current stimulation

Authors

Katarzyna Ewa Polanowska
Marcin Leśniak
Joanna Barbara Seniów
Anna Członkowska

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