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Dopaminergic therapy in aphasia

Gill, SK; Leff, AP; (2014) Dopaminergic therapy in aphasia. Aphasiology , 28 (2) pp. 155-170. 10.1080/02687038.2013.802286. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The dopaminergic system is involved in a wide range of cognitive functions including motor control, reward, memory, attention, problem-solving and learning. This has stimulated interest in investigating the potential of dopaminergic drugs as cognitive enhancers in aphasic patients. / Aim: To discuss the evidence for the use of dopaminergic agents in patients with aphasia. Levodopa (L-dopa) and the dopamine agonist bromocriptine are the two drugs that have been trialled to date. We discuss, in some detail, the 15 studies that have been published on this topic from the first case report in 1988 to the present (2012), and assess the evidence from each. / Main contribution: In addition to summarising the effectiveness of the drugs that have been tried, we examine the possible cognitive mechanisms by which dopaminergic drugs may act on language function and aphasia recovery. Given the wide range of dopaminergic drugs, it is surprising that such a narrow range has been trialled in aphasic patients. Important lessons are to be learned from published studies and we discuss optimal trial designs to help guide future work. / Conclusions: The evidence for the efficacy of dopaminergic agents in aphasia therapy is mixed. Further trials with better tolerated agents are required. Optimal trial designs with appropriate control groups or blocks should be used. The mechanism of action is unclear, but at the cognitive level the evidence points towards either (re)learning of word-forms or their improved retrieval.

Type: Article
Title: Dopaminergic therapy in aphasia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2013.802286
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2013.802286
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Keywords: Aphasia, Bromocriptine, Dopamine, L-dopa, Review
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > ION Central Administration
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1399179
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