Transcranial direct current stimulation effects on neural processing in post-stroke aphasia

Darkow, Robert, Martin, Andrew, Würtz, Anna, Flöel,Agnes and Meinzer, Marcus (2016) Transcranial direct current stimulation effects on neural processing in post-stroke aphasia. Human Brain Mapping, 38 3: 1518-1531. doi:10.1002/hbm.23469


Author Darkow, Robert
Martin, Andrew
Würtz, Anna
Flöel,Agnes
Meinzer, Marcus
Title Transcranial direct current stimulation effects on neural processing in post-stroke aphasia
Journal name Human Brain Mapping   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1065-9471
1097-0193
Publication date 2016-11-11
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/hbm.23469
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 38
Issue 3
Start page 1518
End page 1531
Total pages 14
Place of publication Hoboken, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can enhance recovery after stroke. However, fundamental knowledge about how tDCS impacts neural processing in the lesioned human brain is currently lacking. In the present study, it was investigated how tDCS modulates brain function in patients with post-stroke language impairment (aphasia). In a cross-over, randomized trial, patients named pictures of common objects during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Concurrently, excitatory (anodal-) or sham-tDCS (1 mA, 20 min, or 30 s, respectively) was administered to the left primary motor cortex, a montage with demonstrated potential to improve aphasic language. By choosing stimuli that could reliable be named by the patients, the authors aimed to derive a pure measure of stimulation effects that was independent of treatment or performance effects and to assess how tDCS interacts with the patients' residual language network. Univariate fMRI data analysis revealed reduced activity in domain-general regions mediating high-level cognitive control during anodal-tDCS. Independent component functional network analysis demonstrated selectively increased language network activity and an inter-correlated shift from higher to lower frequency bands, indicative of increased within-network communication. Compared with healthy controls, anodal-tDCS resulted in overall “normalization” of brain function in the patients. These results demonstrate for the first time how tDCS modulates neural processing in stroke patients. Such information is crucial to assure that behavioral treatments targeting specific neural circuits overlap with regions that are modulated by tDCS, thereby maximizing stimulation effects during therapy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
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