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.