Plasticity, Permanence, and Patient Performance: Study Design and Data Analysis in the Cognitive Rehabilitation of Acquired Communication Impairments
To date, minimal research has investigated the effect of combining dexamphetamine with standard naming therapy after stroke. The present study used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple baseline, crossover design with two individuals in the chronic stage of stroke recovery. Each individual attended two 4-week blocks of naming therapy (two to three treatment sessions per week). Dexamphetamine (10 mg) was administered at the start of each session during one therapy block, while a placebo was administered during the other therapy block. Therapy progress on treated and untreated items was assessed by a confrontation naming task during and after each therapy block. Both individuals showed greater progress in therapy and maintenance of therapy gains when behavioral treatment was combined with dexamphetamine rather than placebo, although this gain was only statistically significant in one individual. There was no significant improvement on a control task (nonword reading) in either individual. The results provide preliminary evidence that dexamphetamine paired with combined semantic and phonological therapy may be beneficial for the treatment of naming disorders in chronic aphasia.