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Review

Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety

1
Department of Psychology, University La Sapienza, 00185 Rome, Italy
2
Aphasia Laboratory, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, 00179 Rome, Italy
3
Department of Humanities Studies, University Federico II, 80133 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010041
Received: 8 December 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 31 December 2020 / Published: 2 January 2021
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, unconventional 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 principal 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 proven 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 reveals 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-stroke aphasia; aphasia rehabilitation; pharmacological approach; virtual reality; transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) post-stroke aphasia; aphasia rehabilitation; pharmacological approach; virtual reality; transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
MDPI and ACS Style

Picano, C.; Quadrini, A.; Pisano, F.; Marangolo, P. Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010041

AMA Style

Picano C, Quadrini A, Pisano F, Marangolo P. Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(1):41. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010041

Chicago/Turabian Style

Picano, Chiara, Agnese Quadrini, Francesca Pisano, and Paola Marangolo. 2021. "Adjunctive Approaches to Aphasia Rehabilitation: A Review on Efficacy and Safety" Brain Sciences 11, no. 1: 41. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010041

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