Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improves Audioverbal Memory in Stroke Patients

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate whether anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over the left temporoparietal area improved audioverbal memory performance in stroke patients.

Design

Twelve stroke patients with audioverbal memory impairment participated in a single-masked, crossover, and sham-controlled experiment. The anodal or sham transcranial direct current stimulation was applied during the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, which evaluates the ability to recall a list of 15 heard words over five trials. The number of correctly recalled words was compared between the anodal and sham conditions and the influence of transcranial direct current stimulation on serial position effect of the 15 words was also examined.

Results

The increase in the number of correctly recalled words from the first to the fifth trial was significantly greater in the anodal condition than in the sham condition (P < 0.01). There was a significant difference (P < 0.01) between the anodal and sham conditions in the number of correctly recalled words within the first five words (primacy region) over the second to fifth trial trials, but not in the middle (next five words) or recency (last five words) regions.

Conclusions

Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over the left temporoparietal area improved audioverbal memory performance and induced the primacy effect in stroke patients.

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