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Research Studies

Non-invasive brain stimulation studies

TMS Aphasia (Biomarkers)

Aphasia is a condition characterized by impairment of the ability to communicate that occurs frequently after stroke. The LCNS is conducting a research study of the effectiveness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in improving symptoms of aphasia after stroke. This technique has been shown to provide limited but sustained improvement in naming tasks after repeated sessions. The biomarkers study hopes to identify markers (biological and physiological) of neural plasticity that might explain differing recovery profiles among aphasic patients. Potential participants should be between the ages of 18 and 75 years of age, and have suffered a single stroke on the left side of the brain 6 months prior to participation.

tDCS Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA)

Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a form of cognitive impairment characterized by the progressive loss of language function. The LCNS is conducting a research study of the effectiveness of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in improving symptoms of PPA. We are currently exploring the possible beneficial effects of tDCS for patients with PPA.

TMS Aphasia (CONNECTS)  

We are currently recruiting individuals who have had a stroke and now experiencing aphasia, a language disorder which impairs a persons ability to communicate. The purpose of this research study is twofold: first, we are interested in creating a new framework for characterizing how individuals with post-stroke aphasia are likely to recruit different brain networks during cognitive tasks, especially tasks involving language. Then, we will attempt to use these new network-based predications on brain functioning to administer individualized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS); we hope to manipulate those brain networks in ways that may enhance cognition, specifically language performance.  This study would require four separate visits to the University campus, including an MRI scan. Participants will be compensated for their time.  

TMS Motor

We are currently investigating the effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on motor processing and proprioception .

Cognitive Training & tDCS in Older Adults

For many older adults, preserving cognitive function is extremely important for maintaining independence and an enriched quality of life. The purpose of this study is to determine whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of noninvasive brain stimulation, can be used along with cognitive training to enhance and preserve mental skills in older adults. We are also interested in the brain’s ability to adapt to change, or neuroplasticity. We will use an additional method of noninvasive brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to uncover the relationship between neuroplasticity and cognitive changes in response to tDCS. This research study is a joint effort between the LCNS and the Penn Memory Center (PMC). Potential participants should be between the ages of 65-85 with healthy cognition and English as their native language.

Cognitive & Behavioral Studies

  • Investigations of motor and proprioception
  • Investigations of language
  • Investigations of memory
  • Investigations of visual spatial processing
  • Investigations of multi-sensory integration (sight & sound)