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Original Contribution
November 2006

Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Action Naming in Patients With Alzheimer Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Istituto di Recovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli (Drs Cotelli, Geroldi, Zanetti, Rossini, and Miniussi), and Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of Brescia (Dr Miniussi), Brescia, Center for Cognitive Science, Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin (Dr Cotelli), Department of Neuroscience, Vita Salute University and San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Ms Manenti and Dr Cappa), and Associazione Fatebenefratelli per la Ricerca Department of Neuroscience, Isola Tiberina, and Neurology, University Campus Biomedico, Rome (Dr Rossini), Italy.

Arch Neurol. 2006;63(11):1602-1604. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.11.1602

Objective  To assess the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on picture naming in patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).

Design  Experimental study. Patients with AD underwent rTMS in real and control conditions during picture-naming tasks.

Setting  San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli Scientific Institute in Brescia, Italy.

Patients  Fifteen patients with probable AD.

Intervention  High-frequency rTMS was applied to the left and right DLPFC during object and action naming.

Main Outcome Measures  Language ability was assessed by accuracy of verbal response during online rTMS.

Results  Stimulation to the left and right DLPFC improved accuracy in action naming.

Conclusions  These findings indicate that rTMS to the DLPFC, which speeds up action naming in normal controls, improves performance in patients with AD. While the mechanisms of rTMS-induced naming facilitation in these patients are unknown, the procedure may be worth testing as a novel approach to the treatment of language dysfunction.