Authors: Huber W, Willmes K, Poeck K, Van Vleyman B, Deberdt W
Title: Piracetam as an adjuvant to language therapy for aphasia: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study
Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 1997 78(3): 245-250
Year: 1997
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - Y
Blind therapists - Y
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - N
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

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.

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