Use of tDCS in Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review of the Behavioral Interventions Implemented With Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Language Recovery Purpose The purpose of this article is to review the behavioral treatments used in aphasia rehabilitation research that have been combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Although tDCS in aphasia treatment has shown promise, the results have not been conclusive, and their interpretation is further compounded by the heterogeneity ... Review Article
Review Article  |   December 01, 2016
Use of tDCS in Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review of the Behavioral Interventions Implemented With Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Language Recovery
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth E. Galletta
    Rusk Rehabilitation, New York University/Langone Medical Center
    Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Peggy Conner
    Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York
  • Amy Vogel-Eyny
    Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Paola Marangolo
    Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università Federico II, Napoli, Italy and IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Roma, Italy
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Elizabeth E. Galletta: elizabeth.galletta@gmail.com
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: Leora Cherney
    Associate Editor: Leora Cherney×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Special Issue: Select Papers From the 45th Clinical Aphasiology Conference / Review Article
Review Article   |   December 01, 2016
Use of tDCS in Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review of the Behavioral Interventions Implemented With Noninvasive Brain Stimulation for Language Recovery
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S854-S867. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0133
History: Received September 14, 2015 , Revised March 24, 2016 , Accepted May 12, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S854-S867. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0133
History: Received September 14, 2015; Revised March 24, 2016; Accepted May 12, 2016
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this article is to review the behavioral treatments used in aphasia rehabilitation research that have been combined with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Although tDCS in aphasia treatment has shown promise, the results have not been conclusive, and their interpretation is further compounded by the heterogeneity of study characteristics. Because implementing a behavioral task during brain stimulation has been shown to be pivotal to the adjuvant effects of tDCS, we analyze the behavioral treatments that have been paired with tDCS.

Method A computerized database search (PubMed) was completed to document and review aphasia treatment studies that combine behavioral treatment with noninvasive brain stimulation in the form of tDCS. Two authors reviewed each aphasia tDCS article published between 2008 and 2015 and evaluated (a) the behavioral interventions for aphasia that have been combined with tDCS, and (b) the methodological variables that may have influenced language outcomes in the tDCS aphasia literature.

Conclusions A review of the behavioral treatments implemented in tDCS aphasia rehabilitation studies highlights several methodological considerations for future investigations. Impairment-focused and pragmatic treatments have been implemented in tDCS aphasia research studies. No one behavioral approach stands out as the best treatment to combine with tDCS for the promotion of language recovery.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Marom Bikson from the Biomedical Engineering Department at City College of the City University of New York for his collaborative efforts.
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