The effects of low frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and sham condition rTMS on behavioural language in chronic non-fluent aphasia: Short term outcomes

Caroline H S Barwood, Bruce E. Murdoch, Brooke Mai Whelan, David Lloyd, Stephan Riek, John D. O'Sullivan, Alan Coulthard, Andrew Wong, Phil Aitken, Graham Hall

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The application of low frequency (1 Hz) Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to right hemisphere (RH) language homologues in non-fluent aphasic populations has yielded improvements in behavioural language function, up to 43 months post stimulation [32]. Functional imaging studies have demonstrated RH language homologue " overactivation" post left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) damage, in chronic non-fluent aphasia. The effects of low frequency (inhibitory) rTMS are postulated to be as a result of a reduction of overactivation in RH language homologues, facilitating the reorganisation of neural language networks. Methods: Low frequency (1 Hz) rTMS was applied to the anterior portion of a Broca's area homologue (pars triangularis), for 20 minutes per day for 10 days, using a stereotactic neuronavigational system. Twelve non-fluent aphasic patients (six real stimulation and six sham), 2-10 years post stroke were stimulated. Behavioural language outcome measures were taken at baseline and 1 week post rTMS. Results: Comparisons between the real stimulation and sham conditions indicated significant main effects between the stimulation and sham groups to 1 week post stimulation for naming accuracy, latency and repetition. Conclusions: This study indicates that rTMS has the capacity to modulate neural language networks, to facilitate improvements in behavioural language function, 1 week post TMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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