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tDCS and Talking Therapy for Aphasia

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified August 2013 by Hunter College
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Elizabeth Galletta, Hunter College Identifier:
First received: August 2, 2013
Last updated: August 12, 2013
Last verified: August 2013

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.

Condition Intervention
Device: Soterix 1x1 tDCS

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Using tDCS and Talking: Individualized Aphasia Therapy

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Hunter College:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • change in naming performance in singles words and sentence context [ Time Frame: change from baseline naming performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Naming will be tested using standardized tests such at the Boston Naming Test and or the Philadelphia Naming Test. In addition, sentence probes have been created that will assess naming in the sentence context throughout the study.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • change in sentence production [ Time Frame: change from baseline performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Sentence production will be classified.

  • change in health related quality of life [ Time Frame: change from baseline performance at two weeks and four weeks post treatment ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Scales of health related quality of life will be implemented.

Estimated Enrollment: 6
Study Start Date: July 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: April 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date: April 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: anodal tDCS
Soterix 1x1 device: anodal tDCS administered to the left hemisphere
Device: Soterix 1x1 tDCS
Anodal tDCS will be administered to half of the participants, and cathodal tDCS will be administered to half of the participants. All of the participants will also receive behavioral speech-language therapy.
Experimental: cathodal tDCS
Soterix 1x1 tDCS device: cathodal tDCS administered to the right hemisphere
Device: Soterix 1x1 tDCS
Anodal tDCS will be administered to half of the participants, and cathodal tDCS will be administered to half of the participants. All of the participants will also receive behavioral speech-language therapy.

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. One hypothesis is that Right Hemisphere activation in language tasks is detrimental to effective language use.

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 tDCS inhibiting Broca's homologue in the Right Hemisphere, 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.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria: single left hemisphere stroke, more than three months post stroke, right handed, no other medical problems, not currently enrolled in individual speech-language therapy, ages 18-100 -

Exclusion Criteria: more than one stroke, less than three months post stroke, other medical problems, pacemaker or other electronic implant, currently receiving individual speech-language therapy (group therapy ok), pregnancy


  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01922245

Contact: Elizabeth Galletta, PhD 914-481-4439
Contact: Amy Vogel, BA 212-481-4439

United States, New York
Hunter College Brookdale Campus Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10010
Contact: Elizabeth Galletta, PhD    212-481-4439   
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Galletta, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hunter College
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth E Galletta, PhD Hunter College/City University of NY
  More Information

Responsible Party: Elizabeth Galletta, Assistant Professor, Hunter College Identifier: NCT01922245     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 062951
Study First Received: August 2, 2013
Last Updated: August 12, 2013
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Hunter College:
quality of life

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Communication Disorders
Language Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms
Speech Disorders processed this record on November 20, 2014