Background To investigate the influence of galantamine on linguistic function, any associated factors in patients with chronic post-stroke aphasia were analysed.
Methods 45 patients younger than 75 years with chronic aphasia (≥1 year since onset) were prospectively enrolled in the study. Language testing was performed at weeks 0 and 16. Initial galantamine dose was 8 mg/day for 4 weeks, and 16 mg/day for the following 12 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated by the sum of four domains (spontaneous speech, comprehension, repetition and naming) on the aphasia quotient (AQ) of the Western Aphasia Battery from baseline (AQ1) to endpoint (AQ2). Patients were considered as ‘responding’ if the increase in AQ was ≥20.
Results Mean age was 60.4 years (22–74) and 14 patients were female. Mean duration of aphasia was 2.2±1.5 years. There was a significant increase in the total AQ score in the galantamine group (n=23, 48.5–57.0 percentile; p=0.007) but not in the control group (n=22, 54.3–54.9 percentile; p=0.308). The AQ2 score was independently associated with AQ1, galantamine administration and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score in multiple linear regression models. With the galantamine group, the good responders (vs poor responders) had a higher level of education (p=0.048), higher baseline MMSE score (p=0.009) and a subcortical dominant pattern (p=0.030). After adjusting for potential variables, subcortical dominant lesion was the independent determinant for galantamine responsiveness (OR 30.3; 95% CI 1.1 to 805.9, p=0.041).
Conclusion Administration of galantamine had a beneficial effect on chronic post-stroke aphasia, and was more prominent in subcortical dominant lesions.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the local institutional ethics committee of Ajou University Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.