What does the Treatment involve?
The treatment protocol for aphasia performed at the Institut Guttmann is based on the protocol developed by the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and it is supported by several research projects, primarily by Naeser et al.
It consists of ten 20-minute rTMS sessions (one session each weekday for two weeks), followed by intensive speech-language pathology treatment sessions (2 hours per day, approximately). In our case we use low-frequency stimulation on a specific area of the right hemisphere (the non-affected side), in order to decrease the inhibition that may be exerted over the motor area of language (normally located in the left hemisphere).
A medical visit is conducted before the first session and at the end of treatment to ensure that there are no contraindications and that the patient is able to collaborate with the treatment. A speech-language pathology assessment is also conducted before and after treatment, as well as subsequent follow-up visits.
In order for the stimulation treatment to be precise, a stereotactic navigation system is used after setting up a three dimensional view of the patient's brain MRI.