Effects of Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Language Recovery in Poststroke Survivors With Aphasia: An Updated Meta-analysis.


The effects of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (LF-rTMS) on treating poststroke aphasia (PSA) remain inconclusive. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of LF-rTMS on language function poststroke and determine potential factors that may affect treatment effects. Electronic databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning the effects of LF-rTMS on language performance poststroke. We adopted fixed- and random-effects models to estimate intervention effects, which were represented by the Hedges' g and 95% CIs. Subgroup analyses regarding several factors potentially influencing the effects of LF-rTMS on language recovery were also conducted. A total of 14 RCTs involving 374 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled analysis showed the positive and significant effects of LF-rTMS on language function, both short-term (Hedges' g = 0.65; P < .05) and long-term (Hedges' g = 0.46; P < .05). Subgroup analyses demonstrated that LF-rTMS for 20 minutes per day over 10 days yielded the largest effect size (Hedges' g = 1.02; P < .05) and that LF-rTMS significantly improved language performance in the chronic stage after stroke (Hedges' g = 0.55; P < .05). Patients with different native languages might have diverse responses to LF-rTMS treatment efficacy. Additionally, there were significant improvements in language subtests, including naming, repetition, comprehension, and writing. Overall, this updated meta-analysis demonstrated that LF-rTMS has significant positive effects on PSA, with moderate treatment effects. It provides additional evidence to support LF-rTMS as a promising complementary therapy to promote language recovery in PSA.





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Publication Info

Hong, Zhongqiu, Haiqing Zheng, Jing Luo, Mingyu Yin, Yinan Ai, Baomei Deng, Wuwei Feng, Xiquan Hu, et al. (2021). Effects of Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Language Recovery in Poststroke Survivors With Aphasia: An Updated Meta-analysis. Neurorehabilitation and neural repair. p. 15459683211011230. 10.1177/15459683211011230 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23225.

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Wuwei Feng

Professor of Neurology

Wayne Feng is the Chief of Division of Stroke & Vascular Neurology, Medical Director of Duke Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Tenured Profess of Neurology and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Feng is a board-certified vascular neurologist as well as a physician scientist. His research portfolios include developing imaging biomarker for post-stroke motor outcomes prediction, and use of non-invasive brain stimulation tools, such as, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), vagus nerve stimulation, low intensity focused ultrasound and transcranial light stimulation to enhance post-stroke recovery. His research has been actively funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) and other various sources.  He is currently leading an NIH funded 8.9 million U01 12-center, phase II study called TRANSPORT 2 (TRANScranial direct current stimulation for POst-stroke motor Recovery – a phase II sTudy) – on the NINDS funded stroke trial network.

Dr. Feng has published over 150 peer reviewed manuscripts (H index of 36), including two manuscripts featured on the cover page of brain stimulation journal, and one manuscript featured on Journal of Neuroscience. He co-edited - “Cerebral Venous System in Acute and Chronic Brain Injuries” book. He served as the associate editor for Translational Stroke Research from 2019 to 2021(IF=7.0). Dr. Feng received several prestigious awards for his research work in stroke and stroke recovery including the FIRST “Rehabilitation Award” from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in 2015, “Franz Gerstenbrand Award” from World Federation of Neurorehabilitation (WFNR) in 2016, Arthur Guyton New Investigator Award, Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC) in 2016 and “Clinical Investigator Award” from the Society of Chinese American Physician Entrepreneur (SCAPE). Currently, he is the Section Chair of Neural Repair & Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Neurology. He leads the global mentoring program for the WFNR. 

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