New approach to the rehabilitation of post-stroke focal cognitive syndrome: effect of levodopa combined with speech and language therapy on functional recovery from aphasia

J Neurol Sci. 2009 Aug 15;283(1-2):214-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2009.02.336. Epub 2009 Mar 9.


Objective: Few studies confirm that pharmacological treatments support post-stroke recovery. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the combination of levodopa with language therapy improves aphasia rehabilitation.

Methods: We did a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study in which twenty patients received levodopa before each language therapy session, and an additional 19 received a placebo. Language training was provided during a 3-week period. The efficacy variables were changes from baseline in Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (BDAE) scores.

Results: Patients receiving levodopa experienced greater language improvement in verbal fluency and repetition, compared to patients receiving placebo. Improvement was particularly distinct in patients with anterior lesions.

Conclusions: Supplementing language therapy with levodopa may improve recovery from aphasia in patients with frontal lesions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aphasia / drug therapy
  • Aphasia / etiology
  • Aphasia / therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Language Therapy*
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects
  • Speech Therapy*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Levodopa