Improved language production with tDCS

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Improved language production with transcranial direct current stimulation in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Neuropsychologia. 2019 Mar 02;:

Authors: Madden DL, Sale MV, O’Sullivan J, Robinson GA

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an atypical parkinsonian disorder that can present with language production deficits in addition to the characteristic progressive parkinsonian motor symptoms. Although typical parkinsonism treatments such as pharmacotherapy are not effective in PSP, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have shown promise for treating cognitive deficits relating to this disorder. We report the case of KN, who presented with reduced verbal fluency and connected speech production in the context of PSP. KN completed a set of language tasks, followed by an alternate version of the tasks in conjunction with either sham or active tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) across four sessions. Results showed improved performance with active stimulation compared to sham stimulation for phonemic fluency and action naming, as well as mixed results suggesting possible benefits for connected speech production. There were no benefits of active stimulation for control tasks, indicating that tDCS can produce specific benefits for phonemic fluency, action naming, and connected speech production in PSP. These promising, preliminary findings warrant further investigation into whether these benefits of tDCS can be a useful therapeutic tool for PSP patients to maintain language.

PMID: 30836131 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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