Cortical Stimulation and Aphasia: The State of the Science Purpose: Biological approaches to aphasia rehabilitation involve procedures aimed to alter brain anatomy and physiology so that language function can be restored. One such approach is the application of electrical stimulation to the cerebral cortex to facilitate brain plasticity and enhance stroke recovery. Method: This article discusses the rationale for ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2008
Cortical Stimulation and Aphasia: The State of the Science
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leora R. Cherney
    Center for Aphasia Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2008
Cortical Stimulation and Aphasia: The State of the Science
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2008, Vol. 18, 33-39. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.1.33
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2008, Vol. 18, 33-39. doi:10.1044/nnsld18.1.33
Abstract

Purpose: Biological approaches to aphasia rehabilitation involve procedures aimed to alter brain anatomy and physiology so that language function can be restored. One such approach is the application of electrical stimulation to the cerebral cortex to facilitate brain plasticity and enhance stroke recovery.

Method: This article discusses the rationale for the application of cortical stimulation and reviews three different methods of delivering cortical brain stimulation — repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and epidural cortical stimulation. Each of these methods has been applied to the rehabilitation of language after stroke, and some of the key studies that have addressed the use of cortical stimulation as a potential treatment for post-stroke aphasia are described.

Conclusions: Pilot results suggest a potential role for cortical stimulation as an adjuvant strategy in aphasia rehabilitation. Further investigation of each method of stimulation and its impact on language recovery is warranted. Suggestions for the direction of future research are discussed.

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