L-dopa does not add to the success of high-intensity language training in aphasia.

L-dopa has been shown to improve outcome of moderate-intensity language training after stroke in acute aphasia. Given the critical role of training intensity we probed the effect of l-dopa in combination with high-intensity language training in chronic post-stroke aphasia.
In this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, aphasia patients (>1 year post stroke) were administered 100/25 mg of l-dopa/carbidopa or placebo daily prior to four hours of language training for two weeks. Conditions were crossed-over after a wash-out period of 4 weeks.
An a-priori planned interim analysis (n = 10) showed that naming performance and verbal communication improved significantly and persistently for at least 6 months in every patient, but l-dopa had no incremental effect to intensive training.
High-intensity language training in chronic aphasia may take learning to a ceiling that precludes additive benefits from l-dopa. Effects of l-dopa on post-stroke recovery during less intense treatment in chronic aphasia remain to be evaluated.
AuthorsCaterina Breitenstein, Catharina Korsukewitz, Annette Baumgärtner, Agnes Flöel, Pienie Zwitserlood, Christian Dobel, Stefan Knecht
JournalRestorative neurology and neuroscience (Restor Neurol Neurosci) Vol. 33 Issue 2 Pg. 115-20 ( 2015) ISSN: 1878-3627 [Electronic] Netherlands
PMID25588456 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Levodopa
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aphasia (etiology, therapy)
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Language Therapy (methods)
  • Levodopa (therapeutic use)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nootropic Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke (complications, rehabilitation)
  • Treatment Outcome

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