Introduction: Aphasia is among the most debilitating outcomes of stroke. Aphasia is a language disorder occurring in 10–30% of stroke survivors. Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) is the gold standard, mainstay treatment for aphasia, but gains from SLT may be incomplete. Pharmaceutical and noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques may augment the effectiveness of SLT. Areas covered: Herein reviewed are studies of the safety and efficacy of these adjunctive interventions for aphasia, including randomized placebo-controlled and open-label trials, as well as case series from Pubmed, using search terms ‘pharmacological,’ ‘tDCS’ or ‘TMS’ combined with ‘aphasia’ and ‘stroke.’ Expert commentary: Relatively small studies have included participants with a range of aphasia types and severities, using inconsistent interventions and outcome measures. Results to-date have provided promising, but weak to moderate evidence that medications and/or NIBS can augment the effects of SLT for improving language outcomes. We end with recommendations for future approaches to studying these interventions, with multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trials.
- noninvasive brain stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pharmacology (medical)