New Advances in Aphasia Treatment: tDCS

In the last five years, a new method for treating language disorders and prompting language recovery has emerged. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neuro-stimulation (i.e. brain stimulation) that is currently being researched as treatment for a number of conditions. One of those conditions is aphasia — the speech-language disorder that happens as a result to injury to specific parts of the brain.

UMAP Pilot Research

Because the body of research is still relatively young and we don’t know with certainty the outcome of tDCS treatments, it is currently not FDA approved for language recovery. To help build that body of knowledge and to answer those outstanding questions, researchers at the University of Michigan Aphasia Program (UMAP) are conducting a pilot study to examine the impact of tDCS on intensive therapy outcomes for people with aphasia.

What is tDCS?

In tDCS, low levels of electrical current are constantly delivered to specific brain regions. While it may not initially sound like it, tDCS is non-invasive and painless. It has been proven to be safe in many applications. The most common side effects are tingling or itching of the scalp and redness of the skin where the small electrodes are attached.

To learn more about the UMAP project as well as tDCS in general, click here to read our article about the UMAP project.