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TMS and Language Therapy for Verbal Communication Problems in Alzheimer's Disease


This study will test the effects of combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and verbal language therapy on improving language and speaking abilities in people with Alzheimer's disease. Impaired verbal communication is a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years 85 Years All No
February 19, 2020
June 30, 2021

  • Diagnosis of mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease
  • Mini-Mental State Exam scores between 15 and 23
  • Right-handed
  • Native English speaker

  • History of stroke, seizure, any other significant neurologic disease (e.g., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Significant depression, as defined by the Geriatric Depression Scale
  • Any significant medical disorder that could interfere with the participant's ability to complete the study (e.g., cancer, significant heart disease)
  • Any factors that make receiving TMS unadvisable, including uncontrolled seizures, previous brain surgery, and history of tinnitus

TMS is a noninvasive brain stimulation therapy that has been shown to improve general cognition in people with Alzheimer's disease. Constrained induced language therapy (CILT) is a therapy that allows only verbal communication and has been used to treat verbal communication problems after a stroke or in people with dementia. In this study, researchers will test if CILT combined with TMS improves verbal communication in people with Alzheimer's.

Each study participant will begin with three treatment sessions, lasting one to two hours each, depending on the comfort of the participant. In addition, each participant will receive an MRI scan of the brain or a CAT scan of the head, as appropriate. During the two-week treatment phase, each participant will receive 10 TMS sessions with CILT therapy or a sham. In follow-up, there will be two three-month post-treatment visits and two six-month post-treatment visits for final language and cognitive tests and a final MRI or CT scan.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19104 Recruiting Research Coordinator

University of Pennsylvania

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Name Role Affiliation
H. Branch Coslett, MD Principal Investigator University of Pennsylvania

Name Phone Email
Daniela Sacchetti, MS 215-573-8485
Samuel Cason, MA 215-573-4336


A Phase II, Randomized, Blinded Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Constraint Induced Language Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Aphasia - Alzheimer Disease Sub-study