Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2012
Mentor: Mark Johnson, MD
Mail Code: 8897
Phone number: 214-648-7811
Project title: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in the Treatment of Aphasia: A pilot study
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 092010-135
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects)
Brief Description of Project:
The purpose of this open, pilot study is to explore the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) paired with learning dependent language therapy to accelerate recovery from aphasia. As part of this study we will measure blood-derived factors that may be influenced by this therapy and therefore may serve as a biomarker for therapy efficacy. In this pilot study 24 participants with a language disorder following stroke will receive two cycles 18 hours each (total 36 hours) of speech-language therapy. A 1.5 hour speech language sessions will be paired with tDCS or sham for the first 20 minutes of each session. Four speech-language cognitive assessments (requiring approximately 4 hours) will be completed during the 11 week study period: baseline (Time 1), mid-treatment (Time 2), post-treatment (Time 3) (1-week after tDCS sessions end) and 4 weeks after tDCS sessions end. Blood samples will be drawn the same day of the first three linguistic and cognitive assessments. The blood analyses will test for serum levels of brain-derived neurotrohpic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). These growth factors are known to play a role in neuronal survival and plasticity as well as in neoangiogenesis. This protocol will help determine whether tDCS treatment modulates levels of growth factors known to play a role in post-stroke recovery and whether recovery from aphasia is correlated with plasma levels of these growth factors.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Ms. Seidel has worked with me on similar projects for the past two summers.