Effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation on action naming in patients with Alzheimer disease

Arch Neurol. 2006 Nov;63(11):1602-4. 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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Names*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / radiation effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*