Investigating the use of non-invasive brain stimulation as a predictor of recovery in post-stroke Aphasia

Brief Description Of Study

Aphasia is a condition that occurs frequently following a stroke, and is characterized by an impairment in the ability to communicate. The Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCNS) is conducting a research study which will explore the effectiveness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a predictor of recovery in aphasic stroke patients. We will also explore whether theta-burst stimulation (TBS), a type of TMS, can induce improvements in speech, specifically naming.

Clinical Study Identifier: TX1040

Detailed Study Description

The main purpose of this study is to determine if language improvement following a stroke can be predicted by techniques like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) paired with Electromyography (EMG), language tasks, and genotyping. TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique by which an insulated coil, consisting of copper wires and other electrical components, is held over the head to produce a brief electrical current in the underlying brain tissue; this technique is delivered by highly trained and experienced personnel in our lab. We will target different areas of your brain, one of which will be the area corresponding to a muscle group in your hand. We will collect Electromyography, or EMG for short, which is a method of non-invasive muscle activity recording, by placing small electrodes on different locations on your hand, like your thumb and forefinger. For assessing language improvement, you will also undergo a few sessions where you will perform language tasks that may be displayed on a computer screen or could involve producing verbal responses as directed by our lab personnel. Lastly, we will ask you to provide us with a saliva sample for genotyping. We are also interested in determining whether theta-burst stimulation,a form of repetitive TMS in which TMS pulses are delivered quite rapidly, can improve speech production.

Additional Information About The Study

INCLUSION/EXCLUSION CRITERIA: • You are over the age of 18 • The stroke must have occurred at least 6 months ago • The stroke must have occurred on the left-side of the brain • The stroke must be the cause of Aphasia symptoms • You must have been right-handed before the stroke • You CANNOT have a history of seizures, or family history of seizures • English must be your first language VISIT BREAKDOWN: • Visit 1: Screening and Informed consent (2 hours) • Visit 2: MRI scan [2 hour] • Visit 3: Language testing (1.5 hours) • Visits 4-5:Picture Naming (up to 3 hours each) • Visit 6: TMS + EMG + Saliva sampling (2 hours) • Visit 7: Theta Burst Stimulation + language tasks (1 hour) • Visit 8: Theta Burst Stimulation + language tasks (1 hour) COMPENSATION: Participants will be compensated $15 to $25 per hour, and up to $50 per visit for travel and parking. LAB WEBSITE: http://www.med.upenn.edu/lcns/index.shtml

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