Efficacy of Synchronous Verbal Training During Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Patients With Chronic Aphasia
Background and Purpose—Although multiple studies have suggested that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may facilitate recovery after stroke, the efficacy of synchronous speech therapy integrated with an rTMS protocol has yet to be determined. We investigated language responses to this strategy and determined the longevity of the resulting therapeutic outcomes.
Methods—Forty-five patients with stroke who presented with nonfluent aphasia were randomly assigned to the TMSsyn group and underwent synchronous picture-naming training together with contralesional 1 Hz-rTMS for 10 daily sessions. The TMSsub group underwent subsequent picture-naming activity after the primed 1 Hz-rTMS, and the TMSsham group received concurrent naming task along with the sham 1 Hz-rTMS. The Concise Chinese Aphasia test and the picture-naming test were performed before, immediately, and after 3 months of the intervention.
Results—TMSsyn showed significantly superior results in Concise Chinese Aphasia test score (P<0.001), expression and description subtests (P<0.001), and action (P=0.02) and object naming activity (P=0.008); the superior results lasted for 3 months (P=0.005), in comparison with the TMSsub and TMSsham groups.
Conclusions—We established a real-time model that involved implementing verbal tasks together with the rTMS protocol. Our results confirmed that the strategy yielded favorable outcomes that were of considerable longevity. The results also indicated that the rTMS protocol and language training can be combined to achieve outcomes superior to those obtained when used separately.
- Received August 10, 2014.
- Accepted October 7, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.