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Neurol Res. 2018 Jun;40(6):459-465. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2018.1453980. Epub 2018 Mar 28.

Effects of different frequencies of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in stroke patients with non-fluent aphasia: a randomized, sham-controlled study.

Hu XY1,2, Zhang T1,2, Rajah GB3, Stone C3, Liu LX1,2, He JJ1,2, Shan L1,2, Yang LY1,2, Liu P1,2, Gao F1,2, Yang YQ1,2, Wu XL1,2, Ye CQ1,2, Chen YD1,2.

Author information

a Department of Neurorehabilitation , China Rehabilitation Research Center , Beijing , China.
b School of Rehabilitation Medicine , Capital Medical University , Beijing, China.
c Department of Neurosurgery , Wayne State University School of Medicine , Detroit , MI , USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied at different frequencies to the contra-lesional hemisphere to optimize the treatment of post-stroke non-fluent aphasia.


Patients with post-stroke non-fluent aphasia were divided randomly into four groups: a high-frequency rTMS (HF-rTMS) group (10 Hz), a low-frequency rTMS (LF-rTMS) group (1 Hz), a sham stimulation group, and a control group. All groups received the standard treatment (consisting of drug therapy, conventional physical exercises, and speech training); in the HF-rTMS and LF-rTMS, this was supplemented with magnetic stimulation that targeted the mirror area within the right hemispheric Broca's area. Patients' language ability was assessed prior to, immediately after, and at 2 months post-treatment by the Chinese version of the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB).


When measured immediately post-treatment, as well as at 2 months post-treatment, the LF-rTMS group exhibited a more marked improvement than the HF-rTMS group in spontaneous speech, auditory comprehension, and aphasia quotients (AQ). Compared to the control group, the HF-rTMS cohort exhibited significant improvement at 2-months post-treatment in repetition and AQ.


LF-rTMS and HF-rTMS are both beneficial to the recovery of linguistic function in patients with post-stroke non-fluent aphasia. LF-rTMS produced immediate benefits that persisted long-term, while HF-rTMS only produced long-term benefits. In addition, the benefits produced with LF-rTMS were more marked than those produced by HF-rTMS.


Stroke; aphasia; rehabilitation; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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