tDCS and Aphasia Treatment


Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

This project will investigate the use of noninvasive brain stimulation in the form of tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation) in conjunction with speech-language therapy, for the improvement of language production in stroke survivors with aphasia. The hypothesis is that anodal tDCS and speech-language therapy will facilitate improved outcomes compared to speech therapy alone.

Detailed Description

Aphasia, commonly defined as impairment or loss of language functions, is a frequent and often chronic consequence of stroke, with detrimental effects on patient autonomy and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Although beneficial in some cases, the effectiveness of behavioral therapy is often limited, and therefore new complementary treatments must be developed in order to improve rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasia.
In most individuals, language areas in the brain are localized in the left hemisphere. After stroke, there is evidence that the brain reorganizes such that either areas close to damaged language areas in the Left Hemisphere, or anatomically similar areas in the Right Hemisphere, are recruited to perform language tasks.
Recently, studies have begun to examine the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on aphasia rehabilitation. One such technique is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), which involves administering weak electrical currents through surface electrodes on the scalp. The effects can either stimulate an area, or inhibit an area of the brain. The main hypothesis is that stimulating language areas in the Left Hemisphere in conjunction with speech language therapy will facilitate reorganization of language-relevant areas of the brain, and improve expression.
The proposed study will compare the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) activating language centers in the Left Hemisphere and sham tDCS, in right-handed individuals with chronic post-stroke aphasia. This study will provide information on the effects of tDCS, in conjunction with speech-language therapy, on aphasia rehabilitation.



  • Soterix 1x1 tDCS Device
    Intervention Desc: Anodal and sham tDCS will be administered. All of the participants will also receive behavioral speech-language therapy.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: anodal tDCS
    Description: Soterix 1x1 device: anodal tDCS administered to the left hemisphere
    ARM 2: Kind: Experimental
    Label: cathodal tDCS
    Description: Soterix 1x1 tDCS device: cathodal tDCS administered to the right hemisphere

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Non-Randomized
  • Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Crossover Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary change in naming performance in singles words and sentence context change from baseline naming performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment No
Secondary change in sentence production change from baseline performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment No
Secondary change in health related quality of life change from baseline performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment No