A number of studies have shown that modulating cortical activity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) affects the performance of both healthy and brain-damaged subjects. In this study, we investigated the potential of tDCS for the recovery of apraxia of speech in 3 patients with stroke-induced aphasia. Over 2 weeks, three aphasic subjects participated in a randomized double-blinded experiment involving intensive language training for their articulatory difficulties in two tDCS conditions. Each subject participated in five consecutive daily sessions of anodic tDCS (20 min, 1 mA) and sham stimulation over the left inferior frontal gyrus (referred to as Broca's area) while they performed a repetition task. By the end of each week, a significant improvement was found in both conditions. However, all three subjects showed greater response accuracy in the anodic than in the sham condition. Moreover, results for transfer of treatment effects, although different across subjects, indicate a generalization of the recovery at the language test. Subjects 2 and 3 showed a significant improvement in oral production tasks, such as word repetition and reading, while Subjects 1 and 2 had an unexpected significant recovery in written naming and word writing under dictation tasks. At three follow-ups (I week, 1 and 2 months after the end of treatment), response accuracy was still significantly better in the anodic than in sham condition, suggesting a long-term effect on the recovery of their articulatory gestures. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Electrical stimulation over the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) determines long-term effects in the recovery of speech apraxia in three chronic aphasics / Marangolo, Paola; C. V., Marinelli; S., Bonifazi; V., Fiori; Ceravolo, MARIA GABRIELLA; Provinciali, Leandro; F., Tomaiuolo. - In: BEHAVIOURAL BRAIN RESEARCH. - ISSN 0166-4328. - 225:(2011), pp. 498-504. [10.1016/j.bbr.2011.08.008]