The impact of transcranial direct current stimulation on patients that present stutter.

Sanches L 1; Parente J 2 ; Vila-Nova C 3; Lucena R 3.

  1. União Metropolitana de Educação e Cultura (UNIME) 2. Faculdade Bahiana de Medicina. 3. Universidade Federal da Bahia

OBJECTIVE: Stuttering is characterized by ruptures that arise from the difficulty of meeting the internal and external temporal demand.  This forces the speech to obtain a greater speed when compared to the activation capacity and phonemic selection, which increases the errors in the phonetic plane.  Considering the motor aspect, the development of stuttering stems from the difficulty of rapid movement of the vocal folds.  This is a genetic characteristic that gives it the classification of neuromuscular deficit.  In addition, the social demand for a correct speech, forces individuals to make a time adjustment or makes them afraid of losing the licensor's attention.

In recent years, there has been an increase in studies with transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS).  Studies have been developed to investigate the effect of this technique in different situations, including speech and language functions.  It is important to note that these interventions are not invasive, are low-cost and do not have serious side effects until the determined moment.  Thus, the continuation of trials that investigate this new intervention are essential for the evolution of treatment and social reintegration of patients who have a disturbance in communicative behavior.

METHODS: A doble blinded cross over design with 30 individuals between 18 and 25 years old. The subjects will participate in anodic, cathod and sham tDCS stimulation by 5 days of each one. A período of 7 days between stimulation will be respect to prevent cross over effects. The tDCS will be applied in cerebellum (2 cm down the inion point and 1 cm  from mastoid processes) for 20 minutes during speech pathology therapy. PFFF1 protocol from, Andrade (2003), and Stuttering Severity Instrument – SSI will be used before and after each five days treatment.

RESULTS: This trial aims to better understand the pathophysiology of stuttering and the possibility to treat sttutering with tDCS associated with traditional speech therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: If the alternative hypothesis is confirmed, further studies can be carried out to integrate neuromodulation into the therapeutic options for the treatment of language disorders.  Improving the language of these participants can increase their insertion in the social environment more efficiently, increasing their quality of life.

KEYWORDS: stuttering; transcranial direct current stimulation; speech therapy