Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Innovative Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: a Review on Efficacy, Safety and Controversies

Version 1 : Received: 8 December 2020 / Approved: 9 December 2020 / Online: 9 December 2020 (18:28:59 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Picano, C.; Quadrini, A.; Pisano, F.; Marangolo, P. Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 41. Picano, C.; Quadrini, A.; Pisano, F.; Marangolo, P. Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 41.

Journal reference: Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 41
DOI: 10.3390/brainsci11010041

Abstract

Aphasia is one of the most socially disabling post-stroke deficits. Although traditional therapies have been shown to induce adequate clinical improvement, aphasic symptoms often persist. Therefore, new rehabilitation techniques which act as a substitute or as an adjunct to traditional approaches are urgently needed. The present review provides an overview of the efficacy and safety of the most innovative approaches which have been proposed over the last twenty years. First, we examined the effectiveness of the pharmacological approach, principally used as an adjunct to language therapy, reporting the mechanism of action of each single drug for the recovery of aphasia. Results are conflicting but promising. Secondly, we discussed the application of Virtual Reality (VR) which has been proved to be useful since it potentiates the ecological validity of the language therapy by using virtual contexts which simulate real-life everyday contexts. Finally, we focused on the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), both discussing its applications at the cortical level and highlighting a new perspective, which considers the possibility to extend the use of tDCS over the motor regions. Although the review revels an extraordinary variability among the different studies, substantial agreement has been reached on some general principles, such as the necessity to consider tDCS only as an adjunct to traditional language therapy.

Subject Areas

Post-stroke aphasia; aphasia rehabilitation; pharmacological approach; virtual reality; transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)

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