Effect of High Frequency Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Recovery of Chronic Post-Stroke Aphasia

SOURCE: Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases. 30(8):105855, 2021 Aug.

AUTHORS: Fahmy EM; Elshebawy HM

BACKGROUND: Both hemispheres have role in post-stroke aphasia recovery but better recovery is expected with the restoration of function by the left hemisphere. Transcranial stimulation has been used to favor recruitment of left-hemispheric language networks and increase activity of the left hemisphere, thus helps aphasia recovery .

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on recovery of post stroke aphasic patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients with post stroke chronic aphasia were enrolled in the study. Aphasia severity was assessed using Aphasia Severity Rating Scale (ASRS). Linguistic deficits were assessed using Kasr Al-Aini Arabic Aphasia test (KAAT). Real rTMS was applied three for 10 sessions of 10-Hz stimulation, positioned over the left Broca’s area of the affected hemisphere. All patients were evaluated before, after the end of treatment sessions and one month later.

RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in the mean total score and mean scores of components of KAAT scale before, immediately after and after one month of rTMS (P< 0.05). Moreover, there was a significant improvement in mean scores of ASRS before, immediately after and after one month of rTMS (P= 0.000). There was a significant difference in mean scores of ASRS and KAAT before, immediately after the last session and after one month between small, medium and large brain infarcts. (P< 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Excitatory rTMS is a beneficial adjuvant therapy that improves language skills in patients with chronic post-stroke non-fluent aphasia in short and long term. The protocol of this observational study was registered in clinical trial registration: www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT04708197.