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Brain Lang. 2005 Apr;93(1):95-105.

Improved picture naming in chronic aphasia after TMS to part of right Broca's area: an open-protocol study.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Harold Goodglass Boston University Aphasia Research Center, Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA.


Functional imaging studies with nonfluent aphasia patients have observed "over-activation" in right (R) language homologues. This may represent a maladaptive strategy; suppression may result in language improvement. We applied slow, 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to an anterior portion of R Broca's homologue daily, for 10 days in four aphasia patients who were 5-11 years poststroke. Significant improvement was observed in picture naming at 2 months post-rTMS, with lasting benefit at 8 months in three patients. This preliminary, open trial suggests that rTMS may provide a novel treatment approach for aphasia by possibly modulating the distributed, bi-hemispheric language network.

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