Brain volumes as predictors of tDCS effects in primary progressive aphasia

Vânia de Aguiar, Yi Zhao, Andreia Faria, Bronte Ficek, Kimberly T. Webster, Haley Wendt, Zeyi Wang, Argye E. Hillis, Chiadi U. Onyike, Constantine Frangakis, Brian Caffo, Kyrana Tsapkini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study aims to determine the brain areas critical for response to anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in PPA. Anodal tDCS and sham were administered over the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), combined with written naming/spelling therapy. Thirty people with PPA were included in this study, and assessed immediately, 2 weeks, and 2 months post-therapy. We identified anatomical areas whose volumes significantly predicted the additional tDCS effects. For trained words, the volumes of the left Angular Gyrus and left Posterior Cingulate Cortex predicted the additional tDCS gain. For untrained words, the volumes of the left Middle Frontal Gyrus, left Supramarginal Gyrus, and right Posterior Cingulate Cortex predicted the additional tDCS gain. These findings show that areas involved in language, attention and working memory contribute to the maintenance and generalization of stimulation effects. The findings highlight that tDCS possibly affects areas anatomically or functionally connected to stimulation targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104707
JournalBrain and Language
StatePublished - Jan 2020



  • Intervention
  • Language rehabilitation
  • PPA
  • Prediction of treatment outcomes
  • Spelling
  • tDCS
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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