Neuroplasticity in post-stroke aphasia The effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

K, Spielmann
Aphasia occurs in about 30-40% of the patients immediately after stroke.1-3 As a consequence, different communication modalities are affected, such as speaking, understanding, reading and writing, with a negative impact on social, vocational and recreational activities. One study found that among 60 diseases and 15 conditions, aphasia showed the largest negative relationship with health-related quality of life, followed by cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.4 People with aphasia receive Speech and Language Therapy (SLT). The aim of SLT is to improve communication, and in turn to improve quality of life and participation. Although a recent Cochrane review has shown that SLT can be effective to improve functional communication, reading, writing and expressive language,5 the optimal timing of SLT after stroke still has to be established.6 In the first months after stroke the brain is in a stage of spontaneous recovery, with a reorganization of function and structure. It is assumed that early SLT interacts with spontaneous recovery.7, 8 However, studies investigating the effect of early SLT show contradictory results and therefore it remains a challenge to optimize the effectiveness of early SLT.6, 9 At present, our understanding of the neurobiology of recovery after stroke and of the individual variability in aphasia outcome, is still limited and even more so are our means to boost neurological recovery beyond the level of spontaneous recovery. One of the main challenges in aphasia rehabilitation therefore is to improve our understanding of the neural basis of spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery after stroke.
Tipo di pubblicazione:
Parola chiave:
stimolazione elettrica transcranica; afasia; Stroke
Tesi della Dottoressa Kerstin Spielmann sul ruolo della stimolazione elettrica transcranica come metodica riabilitativa per l'afasia nei pazienti post-Stroke.
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