Patients with long-term aphasia named more words with noninvasive technique.
Transcranial direct current stimulation appeared helpful in stroke patients with long-term aphasia and is worthy of further study, researchers said.
In a double-blind randomized clinical trial, stroke patients with long-term aphasia who had anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (A-tDCS) combined with speech therapy correctly named an average of 13.9 words, compared with 8.3 words for patients who had sham tDCS with speech therapy, reported Julius Fridriksson, PhD, of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and colleagues in JAMA Neurology.
“Transcranial direct current stimulation applied to the injured hemisphere improves rehabilitation outcome in stroke patients with aphasia,” Fridriksson told MedPage Today. “The improvements are long lasting — at least 6 months following rehabilitation — and may benefit a large group of patients.”
Transcranial direct current stimulation uses an electrical current (1 to 2 mA) induced between two electrodes on the scalp. It is part of an emerging branch of stroke therapeutics that targets neural repair, aiming to improve outcomes by promoting neuroplasticity within surviving neural elements, observed Steven Cramer, MD, MMSc, of the University of California Irvine, in an accompanying editorial.