piracetam adjuvant to language therapy for aphasia

Piracetam as an adjuvant to language therapy for aphasia: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study.

Huber W, Willmes K, Poeck K, Van Vleymen B, Deberdt W.

Department of Neurology,
School of Logopedics,
Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule (RWTH),
Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1997 Mar;78(3):245-50

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether piracetam 4.8 g/day together with intensive language therapy improved language function more than language therapy alone.

DESIGN: Double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study.

SETTING: Referral speech and language clinic of a university department of neurology.

PATIENTS: Sixty-six inpatients with aphasia present between 4 weeks and 36 months.

INTERVENTIONS: Intensive language therapy for 6 weeks in all patients. Thirty-two patients received piracetam 4.8 g daily and 34 patients received placebo.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT), a standardized procedure for evaluating the severity of aphasia, was performed at baseline and after 6 weeks’ treatment.

RESULTS: In 50 patients evaluated for efficacy, a trend toward improvement in the active group was observed in all subtests of the AAT. This trend was statistically significant for absolute differences in recovery of “written language” and “profile level.”

CONCLUSION: Piracetam appears to have a positive adjuvant effect on the recovery of aphasia in patients receiving intensive language therapy.