brain stimulation

New Clinical Trial Uses Magnetic Brain Stimulation to Treat Aphasia

There’s an exciting new clinical trial beginning in January 2019 that is currently seeking participants. The study will look to see whether combining speech therapy with brain stimulation can improve language outcomes in persons with aphasia due to stroke.

The Grant

Doctors Branch Coslett and Roy Hamilton from The Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation (LCNS) at the University of Pennsylvania have been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD)* to pursue a 5-year Phase 2 clinical trial testing whether TMS combined with speech therapy is an effective treatment for persons with chronic aphasia.

The Study

Participants accepted into the study in Pennsylvania will receive TMS combined with speech therapy Monday through Friday for two weeks. Researchers will then follow-up with each participant three and six months later in order to assess their language abilities. This is a randomized controlled clinical trial, which means that although everyone will receive speech therapy, some participants will receive brain stimulation and others will not. Neither the participants nor the researchers will know which group they are in until the study is over.

About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation approach that does not require needles, sedation, or surgery. Stimulation with TMS involves using an electromagnet placed over the scalp to generate current in a small region of the brain (about 1 cm x 1 cm) immediately underneath. This allows for portions of the brain to activate, meaning that brain cells in the affected area fire. TMS has been approved by the FDA to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and migraine headaches.

Want to Join the Study?

Specific questions should be directed at the creators of the study. The NAA does not have additional information.

This study is looking for adults with aphasia due to a stroke that occurred more than 6 months ago. They are currently beginning their recruitment process so the study can begin in January 2019. Interested persons should contact Jonathan Magill, Study Coordinator at
[email protected] or 215‐573‐4336.

Want more information about LCNS research? Go to their site or follow them on Twitter.

*Study supported by NIDCD/NIH Grant: 1Ro1 DC16800-A1



  • denise
    November 30, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    I experienced a stroke back in August 2016. Dr. Hamilton and staff are outstanding and highly recommend. Reach out to Jonathan and check out this program. Super Gratitude Denise Baron

  • Danese White
    December 1, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Very interested. Stroke-Left frontal-2012. Speech, writing,and right sided weakness. Mostly subsided. Words don’t always come out even though I am aware of what I want to say. When tired my writing is very poor-from a very legible writing.

  • Caryl Hodgdon
    December 1, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Read about this the other day and now here it is again! Our neurologist is currently seeking trials for us. We are so pleased to see some research being done for this condition. We would love to participate but whether we can or cannot we wish you much success in you endeavor. Thank you so much!

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